Brits bat­tle Brexit loss of fi­nan­cial jobs

Shanghai Daily - - WORLD - (Reuters)

DE­SPITE thou­sands of jobs be­ing set to move to the con­ti­nent as a re­sult of Brexit, Bri­tain’s fi­nan­cial ser­vices min­is­ter said he would do all he can to en­sure the City of Lon­don re­mains a ma­jor fi­nan­cial cen­ter.

John Glen told politi­cians that he agreed with Bank of Eng­land es­ti­mates that 5,000 fi­nan­cial ser­vices jobs will have moved to con­ti­nen­tal Europe by the time Bri­tain is due to leave the Euro­pean Union next March.

Un­sure of Bri­tain’s fu­ture trad­ing re­la­tions with the EU, fi­nan­cial com­pa­nies in the UK are look­ing to open hubs in Paris, Frank­furt and else­where.

“Clearly we are in a dy­namic ne­go­ti­a­tion where the French in par­tic­u­lar have sought to lever­age as much ad­van­tage due to the un­cer­tainty,” Glen told a com­mit­tee in the House of Lords. “My sole ob­jec­tive in re­spect of the City is to en­sure as much con­ti­nu­ity as pos­si­ble in re­spect of the eco­nomic value that is able to be gen­er­ated by the City.”

Glen said he “fully ex­pects” that Bri­tain and the EU will agree on a deal that would in­tro­duce a tran­si­tion pe­riod from next March to avoid a dis­or­derly Brexit.

While many com­pa­nies are yet to make firm com­mit­ments to move staff, they are ne­go­ti­at­ing op­tions on space in Am­s­ter­dam, Paris, Frank­furt and Dublin that will al­low them to quickly scale up, said So­phie Van Oos­terom, chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer for com­mer­cial real es­tate and in­vest­ment firm CBRE in EMEA.

“So if there is a soft Brexit they will stay put and if some­thing dra­matic hap­pens they can flick the switch,” she said.

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