City warning of threat to 70000 jobs without Brexit trade arrangement –

City warning of threat to 70000 jobs without Brexit trade arrangement –

Up to 70,000 financial jobs could be lost if Britain leaves the EU without a new relationship in place for the City of London, its industry body is expected to say.

Research commissioned by TheCityUK is expected to claim next week that if the UK fails to secure a trade deal beyond the standard World Trade Organisation terms, many tens of thousands of posts would be put at risk as entire swathes of financial business leave the country.

This extreme scenario would see the UK denied “passport” access to the regulated financial markets and refused more piecemeal “equivalent” admission, meaning companies that could still trade would be subject to WTO tariffs, a source familiar with a draft of the findings told The Daily Telegraph.

At the other end of the scale, if a deal were negotiated for British access to Europe’s financial markets on broadly unchanged terms, around 7,000 positions would be threatened, estimates from the consultancy Oliver Wyman are set to claim. The losses would chiefly be felt in the senior ranks of these firms, the source said.

The report is still being finalised ahead of planned publication on Wednesday, a spokesman for the consultancy said. The estimates on jobs will be the first from TheCityUK since the referendum in June, and will contrast with a report before the vote by PwC that predicted that up to 100,000 roles would be lost by 2020.

David Davis, the minister for Brexit, is believed to have been briefed on the new findings and is comfortable with the numbers.

British PM May says Scotland will have no veto over Brexit – Reuters

British PM May says Scotland will have no veto over Brexit – Reuters

LONDON Prime Minister Theresa May said she will listen to Scotland’s concerns over Britain’s exit from the European Union but that the devolved Scottish government will not have a veto over the Brexit negotiations.

Scotland wants to have more detail about how the British government plans to leave the EU to prevent a “hard Brexit” that would severely damage the economy, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday.

After Britain’s vote to leave the EU, Sturgeon said Scotland may seek another independence referendum – something that could split the world’s fifth largest economy apart just as it attempts to go it alone outside the European bloc.

“What I am very clear about is that, as we look into these negotiations, we will fully engage the Scottish government in the discussions that we have, in preparing what position the UK is going to take,” May told BBC Scotland.

When asked directly if Scotland could have a veto over Brexit, May said: “The United Kingdom will have a position in the negotiations and we, as a United Kingdom government, will be negotiating with the European Union.”

May added that the United Kingdom’s government would listen to and take account of the particular concerns of Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom, which is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The United Kingdom’s devolved parliaments could complicate or slow an EU withdrawal as their remit over such a major change is unclear and there is a convention for giving the assemblies a say on matters that concern them.

Scots rejected independence in a 2014 referendum. But in the referendum on EU membership on June 23, Scots voted to stay in the bloc while England and Wales opted to leave.

“There are two questions you can ask about a second [independence] referendum in Scotland: One, ‘Could there be?’ And that’s a process issue,” May said.

“I think the real question is ‘Should there be another referendum in Scotland?’ My answer to that is overwhelmingly ‘no’,” she said. “There should not be second referendum in Scotland.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Tory ex-ministers push for speedy Brexit – BBC News

Tory ex-ministers push for speedy Brexit – BBC News

Union flag umbrella near Big Ben

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Britain could quit the EU well within the two-year time limit laid down by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, Tory ex-ministers have told Theresa May.

They also called for a work permit and cap system to control the number of EU migrants coming to the UK.

Led by Leave campaigner John Redwood, the “Brexit Blueprint” urges a “take it or leave it” attitude to EU trade.

Mrs May, who is due to tackle Brexit at the Tory conference on Sunday, says the right deal may not be the quickest one.

She has already stated that Article 50, the formal mechanism for Britain leaving the EU, will not be triggered this year – but faces calls to clarify the government’s demands.

‘Make a success of this’

The so-called Blueprint was compiled at a private conference in Oxford’s All Souls College earlier this month.

It was convened by former Cabinet minister Mr Redwood with other contributions from former Iain Duncan Smith, Owen Paterson, Peter Lilley and Sir William Cash.

Mr Redwood told the meeting there was no reason why negotiations over the terms of British withdrawal from the EU should take anything like the two-year maximum laid down by Article 50.

“It is in both sides’ interest to reach an earlier agreement to reduce business uncertainty,” he said.

“If there is a breakdown or no likelihood of agreement, then the UK should withdraw and after the two-year period the UK will be formally out. Trade will revert to World Trade Organization rules.”

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Iain Duncan Smith: Migrants should not be eligible for benefits unless they’ve lived in the UK for five years

But in an inteview ahead of the Conservative Party conference Mrs May told BBC political editor for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Tim Iredale: “We need to ensure we’re getting the right deal for Britain and that means not necessarily the quickest deal.

“So we’re taking time to prepare before we formally start the negotiations – what’s called this triggering of Article 50… We’re going to make a success of this – there are opportunities for us when we leave the EU – but we need to ensure we’re taking our time to get the deal right.”

The Blueprint says that as Article 50 is triggered, a Bill should be brought forward repealing the 1972 European Communities Act, which gave legal force to the country’s membership of the then European Economic Community.

The Bill would convert EU law into British law “and so help ensure a smooth Brexit, minimising disruption to industry and commerce,” the Blueprint says. “Subsequently, it would be open to this government and its successors to scrap aspects of EU law not considered in the UK’s interests.”

It also suggests Britain should either continue tariff-free trade with the bloc post Brexit, but without any obligation to accept free movement of EU citizens – or trade freely under the “relatively light” WTO standard tariffs. “The onus would be on the remaining 27 members of the EU either to accept the current arrangements or insist on a WTO deal,” it said.

‘Nothing to lose’

While EU migrants should come under the same work permit and cap system as the rest of the world, students, EU tourists and intra-company transfers would be exempt.

Permits would only be issued to lower skilled and lower paid workers if the government judged there were not enough British applicants for such jobs, it said.

Former work and pensions secretary Mr Duncan Smith said migrants should not be eligible for in-work or out-of-work benefits post-Brexit until they have lived in the country for five years, or made National Insurance payments over a four-year period.

Former social security secretary Mr Lilley said outside the EU, the UK could be a leader for free trade worldwide, with the agriculture and manufacturing sectors of developing countries gaining better access to the UK market in return for the UK having better access to markets for their services and high-tech products.

The Brexit Blueprint was published by the Centre for Social Justice and the Legatum Institute. The London-based think-tanks also produced a report suggesting that many supporters of Leave had “nothing to lose” and were disproportionately poorer, older and less well educated than those backing Remain.

Of people living in households earning more than £60,000 a year, 65 per cent backed Remain, the report suggests, but this figure plunged to 38 per cent among those earning less than £20,000 a year.

Earlier this week, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox claimed the UK’s trade with the European Union will be “at least as free” after Brexit as it is now.

But Sir David Edward, a former judge at the European Court of Justice, retorted: “Nobody who understands trade law could have possibly have said what he said… When the UK notifies its intent to leave the bloc, the country won’t be in the ‘driving seat’ or be able to ‘insist on anything’ when negotiating a possible deal with the EU.”

Brexit shakes up thriving UK tech sector – euronews

Brexit shakes up thriving UK tech sector – euronews

Emmanuel Lumineau loves London. When the French entrepreneur launched his startup in 2014, he would not have picked any other place. He runs Brickvest, an online financial platform for investing in real estate across the world.

But following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, he decided to expand his business outside the UK – in the German capital, Berlin.

“London unfortunately is very ‘up in the air’ and we needed a place where we can carry on being very agile. We have opened an office in Berlin and we have stopped hiring in London. We made the decision of Berlin within three weeks of Brexit,” Lumineau said.

The dynamic growth of the digital and tech industries has been one of the UK’s economic success stories over the last decade, with London branding itself as Europe’s answer to America’s Silicon Valley.

But the Brexit vote has delivered a shock to the system, and from Dublin to Paris and Lisbon, rival European cities are now hoping it’s their turn to be the continent’s tech capital.

Berlin, London’s closest tech rival, has been making the biggest play. The city’s government approached both British startups and larger corporations in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Berlin’s Senator for Economics and Technology Cornelia Yzer says she’s held “serious talks” with around 60 British companies:

“Uncertainty is always the enemy of investment. I’m convinced that there are many companies that will decide to keep their London roots, but to have an office in continental Europe as well – something that would not have happened without Brexit.”

Britain’s got talent – but for how long?

For Emmanuel Lumineau, the main reason for opening up in Berlin was “talent” – he was concerned about not being able to continue to hire, in London, the best people from across Europe.

And he’s far from alone. According to a survey of UK tech companies after the Brexit vote, 51 percent believe it will now be more difficult to attract and retain the best employees. And 70 percent want a clear message from the government on EU residents’ ability to work in the UK.

Pedro Oliveira, who runs a recruitment service for tech professionals across Europe, says the Brexit vote had an immediate impact on candidates’ desire to move to Britain.

“People actually removed themselves from hiring processes. They actually had two, three interviews – they were probably getting hired. And they just removed themselves, saying, ‘I’m not interested in the UK anymore because of all this political instability. There are other countries that are more stable and I want to go to (one of) them.’ That’s it. It’s simple.”

Gerard Grech, CEO of the state-backed consultancy Tech City UK, says the government is committed to safeguarding the sector.

The digital economy accounts for over 10 percent of Britain’s GDP, compared to around 5.5 percent on average across the EU.

“I don’t see why we would anticipate a slowdown given the fact that we have led the way in digital tech policy, there’s a critical mass of expertise (in the UK)- The conditions for starting and growing a digital business (in the UK) are unrivaled, in my opinion, in Europe. I think that unless there are any major blunders, I don’t see anything stopping us continuing to be on that growth trajectory.”

Venture funds struggling

British companies attracted $1.3 billion in venture capital funding in the first half of 2016, matching the same period last year. It seems investment in UK tech remains strong, with more than 40 deals signed in the month following the Brexit vote.

But scratch beneath the surface of those impressive headline figures, and a less rosy picture emerges. A lot has changed since the Brexit vote, but we are just not fully seeing the impact yet, says venture capitalist Andre de Haes.

“I’m astonished that government officials and other experts are claiming that there will be no long-term impact,” he said.

“Venture funds have been struggling to raise funds. I know of five funds that were poised to launch in July and August and only one of them was able to launch,” de Haes explained.

“And on the companies side, raising (investment) from venture funds, there’s been an almost 50 percent decrease in capital deployed so far in Q3 (Quarter 3: July, August, September), relative to the same period in 2015.”

One big question mark is whether the European Investment Fund – which provided more than a third of all UK venture capital funding last year – will continue to invest heavily in the country once it breaks away from the bloc.

Despite the challenges, fund managers agree that nimble startups, far more than large corporations, will find ways to innovate and thrive.

Emmanuel Lumineau is proud that his company took action swiftly after the June 23 vote.

“Brexit is going to add another complexity. We need to be more agile, but we don’t think London will disappear. I think we are one of the few firms who already (took action), we acted within a month and a half – future-proofing our business model. While others are still waiting for Article 50 to be activated and see what happens. And that one year, two years, three years will play to our strengths.”

Insiders: Impact of Brexit vote on UK tech

Live updates from our Insiders team

Yellen defends financial regulations and low interest rates – World Finance – World Finance

Yellen defends financial regulations and low interest rates – World Finance – World Finance

Yellen defends financial regulations and low interest rates – World Finance
World Finance
Speaking to the House Financial Services Committee in her semi-annual testimony, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave a positive overall assessment of the US financial industry. She noted that post-2008 financial regulations had placed US banks in a …

and more »

It’s official: economy doing fine after Brexit –

It’s official: economy doing fine after Brexit –

The truth is that the costs and benefits of Brexit were never about any supposed immediate shock caused by sentiment and animal spirits. They are about the medium and long-run: whether Brexit Britain ends up becoming a more open, better place that encourages work, investment, entrepreneurship and productivity growth, and whether, on balance, we become a more rather than less free-trading nation.

The specifics of the Brexit deal we negotiate therefore matter greatly – but they are hardly the whole story. Other trade deals are also part of the cost-benefit equation which will determine Britain’s economic success over the next few years.

The good news is that the business establishment has become more sensible: it is now agitating for the best possible Brexit deal rather than seeking to reverse the referendum. On Thursday, Nissan asked for in indemnity against any possible future tariffs, in return for which it would invest more in Britain. It’s a clever negotiating strategy from the car industry, and other manufacturers will presumably join in. They have, on balance, benefited enormously to date from the lower pound, of course.

In the same vein, TheCityUK’s lobbying document, produced by Oliver Wyman, is expected to claim that 7,000-70,000 jobs would be lost, depending on the trade deal in place with the EU. Given that there are close to 1.1m financial services jobs, a loss of 7,000 would be less than the usual, annual variation in a highly cyclical industry. A 70,000 reduction would be a blow. Of course, all of these figures need to be taken with a bucket of salt: this is lobbying, negotiation of a sort that bankers are good at. They have a long record of exaggerating the hit from previous political decisions, including since the crisis.

But even though the Government should take all of these claims and threats in the right, sceptical spirit, it should also put all of its efforts into maximising the UK’s access to overseas markets. We need the best possible trade deals with the EU and the rest of the world after Brexit: the freer the trade, the lower the barriers, the smaller the tariffs, the better off everyone will be. 

The Big Picture: EU’s Financial Regulation Offensive – JD Supra (press release)

The Big Picture: EU’s Financial Regulation Offensive – JD Supra (press release)

The Big Picture: EU’s Financial Regulation Offensive
JD Supra (press release)
In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the national and international response by legislators and regulators has been to substantially overhaul and increase financial regulation applicable to banks and other financial institutions. The primary