The lord mayor of London will use his annual City banquet to demand the government secures a legally binding transition period by the end of the year.
Speaking at the lavish Mansion House dinner tonight, Andrew Parmley will warn that without certainty on this, and some detail of the final relationship between the UK and EU, “all our futures” are at risk of being damaged.
Speaking alongside Financial Conduct Authority boss Andrew Bailey and Sam Woods, head of the Prudential Regulation Authority, Parmley will stress the need to avoid a cliff-edge at the point of Brexit in March 2019.
“Businesses must have the certainty of how they will be regulated, and that requires a transition period,” he will say. “This will be our bridge to the future. But the idea must become reality, translated into a legal agreement before the end of the year.
“The longer this is left, the more it damages all our futures – not only in the UK, but the economy right across the EU.
“We also need to know more about the final state, after transition. How can the UK’s most profitable industry be expected to programme its satnav without knowing the destination?”
Parmley will speak as the Conservative party conference comes to a close in Manchester, where Brexit has dominated discussions.
Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday indicated that transition could be less than two years for some sectors, suggesting the withdrawal could be tailored to different industries.
Chancellor Philip Hammond on Monday said he recognised that removing uncertainty around Brexit was the “single immediate stimulus” the government could give the UK’s economy, saying “all other things should be subordinate to that achievement”.
However Brexit secretary David Davis used his conference speech yesterday to say that the UK is ready for “any outcome” from the EU negotiations, opening the door to all possibilities again.