Bri­tain pledges bankers will be ex­empt from EU im­mi­gra­tion curbs af­ter Brexit

The Globe and Mail (BC Edition) - - REPORT ON BUSINESS - ANDREW MACASKILL HUW JONES

Bri­tain’s Brexit Min­is­ter David Davis sought to re­as­sure the fi­nan­cialser­vices sec­tor on Tues­day with a com­mit­ment to make bankers ex­empt from curbs on im­mi­gra­tion af­ter Brexit.

Re­spond­ing to in­dus­try con­cerns that it will be harder to re­cruit Euro­pean staff af­ter Bri­tain leaves the Euro­pean Union, Mr. Davis said the gov­ern­ment’s new im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy will aim to al­low highly skilled work­ers to move around the con­ti­nent.

For ex­am­ple, Mr. Davis told a con­fer­ence of bankers in Lon­don, a bank should be able to tem­po­rar­ily move an em­ployee to an of­fice in Germany or a lawyer visit a client in Paris.

He said the gov­ern­ment will in­tro­duce a new im­mi­gra­tion bill next year set­ting out those plans in more de­tail.

Banks have ex­pressed con­cern that a crack­down on im­mi­gra­tion may ham­per its abil­ity to find staff with the right skills.

“En­sur­ing that the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor can at­tract the tal­ent it needs to thrive is also vi­tal as we leave the EU,” Mr. Davis said. “We want to en­sure that our new part­ner­ship with the EU pro­tects the mo­bil­ity of work­ers and pro­fes­sion­als.”

The City of Lon­don, home to global for­eign ex­change, bonds and fund man­age­ment oper­a­tions and to more banks than any other fi­nan­cial cen­tre, faces upheaval as firms de­cide whether to shift jobs to con­ti­nen­tal Europe to keep serv­ing cus­tomers there af­ter Bri­tain leaves the EU in 2019.

“Its clear that Gov­ern­ment un­der­stands the sec­tor’s con­cerns sur­round­ing Brexit, and we wel­come that,” City of Lon­don pol­icy chair Cather­ine McGuin­ness said in a state­ment, adding, “But we now need to see th­ese words turned into ac­tion.”

Mr. Davis said the gov­ern­ment wants a trade pact with the EU in fi­nan­cial ser­vices that will en­sure fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, con­sumer pro­tec­tion and hon­our the global reg­u­la­tory rules adopted in the af­ter­math of the 2008 global fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

En­sur­ing that the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor can at­tract the tal­ent it needs to thrive is also vi­tal as we leave the EU. David Davis Bri­tain’s Brexit Min­is­ter

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