Brexit drives fi­nance from UK

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

LONDON: Bri­tain’s fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor will ac­cel­er­ate plans to move some busi­ness over­seas af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said this week the coun­try will quit the Euro­pean Union’s sin­gle mar­ket.

Busi­nesses have been call­ing for clar­ity on what Bri­tain’s re­la­tion­ship with Europe will be be­fore de­cid­ing how to re­shape their op­er­a­tions, but most ma­jor firms are now set to re­lo­cate some busi­ness to en­sure they can still trade with Europe.

London’s fu­ture as Europe’s fi­nan­cial cen­tre is one of the big­gest is­sues in Brexit talks be­cause it is Bri­tain’s largest ex­port sec­tor and big­gest source of cor­po­rate tax rev­enue. “The worst case now seems to be the base case,” a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive at one ma­jor global bank said af­ter May’s speech, adding that con­tin­gency plan­ning would con­tinue apace.

May will meet the heads of sev­eral big play­ers, in­clud­ing Gold­man Sachs and JP Mor­gan chief ex­ec­u­tives Lloyd Blank­fein and Jamie Di­mon, at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos for pri­vate talks to­day.

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