Commenting on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit speech

Commenting on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit speech, Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman, City of London Corporation:

“The Prime Minister’s speech today added a degree of clarity for the Government’s Brexit strategy.

On the single market

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s ambition to retain the greatest possible access to the single market, which is important to the UK’s financial and professional services industries.

"Passporting rights and access to leading talent – facilitated by the single market – has, in part, helped make Britain the world’s leading financial centre, but the Government fully recognises that protecting these vital industries is a priority.

On trade partnerships

Trade between the UK and the European Union has helped make our country prosperous. We welcome that Government recognises the value and importance of EU companies seeking access to the services of the City of London.

“We also welcome the decision to trade more with existing and new international partners – this has the potential to be the prized trophy of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

On a transitional arrangement

“The City has been vocal on the need for a transitional arrangement from the time Britain formally leaves the EU and when the new arrangements come into effect. Following today’s announcement, this becomes an even greater necessity. We would like to see a transitional agreement announced as soon as possible.

“Government’s phased implementation plan must avoid a cliff-edge and will be beneficial for firms across all sectors, especially financial and professional services firms. The Government must stick to this commitment.

On access to talent

“Britain has long been a magnet for global talent. To continue the sector’s success, with 12% of City workers made up of European staff, it is important the flow of leading talent to the UK continues. We support the wish to maintain the rights of EU citizens currently working in the UK.”