One of the more memorable lines from the referendum campaign came courtesy of Leave campaigner Michael Gove. In front of a live audience, Faisal Islam of Sky News reeled off a list of experts who had made dire economic predictions regarding the implications of a vote to Leave.
“The IMF, the IFS, the CBI... why should people believe you over them?” Gove’s answer was that “the people of this country have had enough of experts.” Gove, of course, emerged on the winning side of the referendum but his claim about the public’s lack of faith in experts has been blown apart by a new poll carried out for the Institute for Government.
When faced with the statement that “it is important to me that when making difficult decisions politicians consult a wide range of professionals and experts” – almost 90 per cent agreed, including 86 per cent of those who voted to Leave.
So it seems there’s still a healthy appetite for the input of experts when it comes to political decision-making, even if so many of the exaggerated pre-referendum economic fears have so far proven to be wide of the mark. That aside, the good news is that there’s a steady stream of City experts organising themselves to advise and support the government with Brexit negotiations.
Yes, Brexit lobbying is officially underway. Representing the banking industry, the BBA is beavering away on a private report for government while the Investment Association and the Association of British Insurers are likely to follow suit. The Association for Financial markets in Europe will also be busy, along with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, TheCityUK and the Corporation of London. Meanwhile, the Financial Services Negotiation Forum is a newly-formed group of City Leavers (yes, there were a few) and Remainers, who intend to research and campaign on key issues such as euro-clearing and passporting rights (Here's everything you need to know about passporting).
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Alongside this, the European Financial Services Chairman’s Advisory Committee, which includes Baroness Vadera, chair of Santander UK, has already held talks with the chancellor. The early signs are that the government is certainly in listening mode. Gove may have dismissed the experts, but when it comes to safeguarding the City’s future, they’re needed more than ever.