The City of London Corporation: Brexit is not a catastrophe

Emma Haslett
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The Square Mile - London's Financial District
Describing Brexit as a catastrophe is "far wide of the mark", said McGuinness (Source: Getty)

The policy chief of the City of London Corporation has said Brexit will not be a catastrophe for the Square Mile - and to suggest otherwise would be a return to the worst accusations thrown around during the referendum campaign.

In a speech at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) this morning, City policy chief Catherine McGuinness struck a conciliatory tone, saying although Brexit remains a challenge for the City, to describe it as a catastrophe is "far wide of the mark".

"In fact, it’s an unwelcome return to the exaggeration of the referendum campaign itself," she said.

She also called on the government to prioritise market access during Brexit negotiations, imploring the government to prioritise a deal which delivers "mutual market access between the UK and EU".

McGuinness also called for an early agreement of transitional arrangements to provide "vital certainty" for businesses; continued residency rights for EU nationals and an assurance that the City remains open to "talented individuals across the world".

“The EU is one of the primary beneficiaries of London’s capital markets. And seeking to fragment this offer - for example by cherry-picking clearing and other services - would not only be a huge risk, but an avoidable one," she said.

“But in order to kick on, and make investment even easier, and capital markets even more efficient, we must keep sight of three things during Brexit.

“One: we need to pursue (a) Capital Markets Union for the benefit of businesses across Europe. Two: we need to maintain current rules on delegating asset management functions standards, because limiting delegation as part of a broader Brexit settlement would harm both savers and investors. And three: we need to protect centralised clearing, here in London, which makes it easier to net exposures and cheaper to post collateral."

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