Policy Chair letter to the Financial Times on Brexit

The following letter from Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness was published in the Financial Times in response to an article by Jo Johnson (‘Politicians must stand up for the City of London after Brexit’, 21 February):

Jo Johnson is right to say that the City is a substantial asset for the UK, which it is in the national interests to preserve.

He is wrong, however, to say that the financial and professional services sector has been silent on Brexit since the 2016 referendum.

The City has been vocal on the need for politicians to work together pragmatically to secure a legally-binding transition period that avoids a damaging no-deal exit for households, businesses and the 2.2 million people employed in the sector across the country.

The industry has also highlighted substantial cliff-edge risks such as clearing, contract continuity and data flows that could disrupt cross-border financial services in the event of a no-deal outcome.

Of course, the City has called on the Government to be ambitious when it comes to the next phase of negotiations and deliver a future relationship for services that provides market access based on strong regulatory dialogue and supervisory co-operation. The International Regulatory Strategy Group continues to be active in this space.

But at a time when politicians on both sides of the Channel are playing chicken with a no-deal departure looming, the sector’s immediate focus has to be on the short-term.

One month until Brexit, there is little sign of a deal being agreed on the horizon. The absence of action in Westminster and Brussels speaks louder than any words.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair, City of London Corporation, EC2V, UK

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk