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What is the City of London Corporation doing to support City businesses in light of Brexit negotiations?

Following the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, the City of London Corporation has been heavily involved in ensuring the voice of financial and professional services firms is heard in helping to shape the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

The City Corporation has an important role to play:

  • As a convenor of different parties, business, governments and regulators, to share information and present the range of views of City business to government.
  • Promoting and explaining the 'City ecosystem' concept: the City needs to be viewed as a totality, each part depending on each other.
  • As a trusted and neutral voice for the range of City opinion. We are also listening carefully to other views, particularly from the EU Member States, and feeding back to the City.

What is the Financial and Professional Services Industry looking for in Brexit negotiations?

The City Corporation concerns focus on ‘cliff edge’ issues including the need to ensure uninterrupted data flows and contract continuity.

Cliff edge:

It is of vital importance that the EU urgently address the uncertainties caused by cliff edge issues including contract continuity risk to cross border insurance and uncleared derivates contracts, the recognition of UK trading platforms and data flows.
Consumers and businesses in the EU are exposed to risk without an EU wide co-ordinated public policy solution.

Transition:

It is vital that there is a deal agreed which secures a legally binding implementation period that give certainty to citizens and businesses and avoiding cliff edge risks.
Transition is fundamental to ensure that people and businesses have certainty during a time of change in the political and economic relationship between the UK and EU.
Firms understand that leaving the EU and the single market means that passporting will end. They are now focused on navigating this period of change with minimal disruption for customers and economic damage.
Plans are being put in place, regulated firms have all the necessary measures in place, but we are concerned for smaller firms’ state of preparedness.

Trade:

For the post-Brexit cross border trade in financial services, we believed that the right approach was to seek mutual market access based on mutual recognition and alignment of regulatory outcomes.
However this is no longer the option under discussion and the access model proposed is now via autonomous unilateral mechanisms (‘equivalence’). We are working to provide detailed thinking on how the principles of co-operation could apply as part of a bilateral agreement. Firms will want to see existing levels of cooperation between regulators maintained.

Talent:

In the longer term, firms are concerned that they have access to the talent they need post-Brexit. The City Corporation has recently published a report with EY on how we can ensure our visa application system is as smooth as possible for firms and individuals.

International Regulatory Strategy Group

The International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG), chaired by former Treasury Minister Mark Hoban, is an advisory body to both the City Corporation and the TheCityUK. It has representatives of all the major City businesses and trade associations and is focused on the detail of regulatory issues. Both the City Corporation and TheCityUK provide resources to support the IRSG. The IRSG has commissioned a number of new workstreams looking at regulatory issues relating to third countries, global competitiveness and regulatory coherence.

Parliament

The City Corporation has also been actively engaged in parliament’s discussions over Brexit. The Policy Chair has hosted a series of roundtables for MPs and peers and evidence has been submitted to a number of Select Committees. Details of the Select Committee Submissions can be found here.

Trade Associations

The City Corporation has convened regular meetings of the major trade associations, providing them with a forum in which to exchange intelligence, emerging views and representational strategy.

City Corporation's EU Engagement programme

  • As part of the City Corporation’s EU engagement programme, in 2019 the Policy Chair will be visiting a number of EU Member States.
  • We meet regularly with the diplomatic community (Ambassadors, High Commissioners and their staff) based in London to share information and views on Brexit-related issues.

The City of London Corporation is further strengthening its office in Brussels with the appointment of Nick Collier as the new Managing Director from March 2019. He has previously worked at a range of organisations in the financial services sector, including the Bank of England and, until recently, served as Chair of TheCityUK’s Public Affairs Group as well as Deputy Chair of the International Regulatory Strategy Group.

City Corporation's International Engagement programme

  • As part of the City Corporation’s international engagement programme, this year the Policy Chair will be visiting Switzerland, India, China and South Korea, to meet with business, government and regulators, and Brexit will be a key issue to be discussed, and how we can coordinate international regulatory structures.
  • The Lord Mayor has recently visited China and Hong Kong, and planning is already underway for next year's extensive international programme promoting the UK as a place to invest and promoting opportunities for UK exports.

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