Political turmoil and division have dominated the news agenda on both sides of the Atlantic, albeit for different reasons.
And with the changes at the top of British politics, it is vital that government continues investing in London’s infrastructure, promoting innovation, and developing the UK’s status as a leading financial centre.
Our financial and professional services sector needs a stable government to stay competitive on the world stage.
These businesses contribute over £75bn in tax annually and support the UK economy by creating jobs, encouraging investment, and facilitating trade.
And they support the government’s levelling up agenda by employing 2.3 million people across the country – two thirds of which are outside of London.
The competitiveness of the industry is a critical national interest. And we stand ready to work with whoever leads the next government to support a vibrant and thriving City, a diverse and sustainable London, and a globally-successful UK.
We must also not lose sight of the aims of cultivating a “global Britain” as we strengthen the economic relationship between the UK and the US. This will help driving forward our recoveries amid surging inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. It must continue to be a part of our international outlook, whoever has the keys to No10.
The US is our largest trading partner and a natural ally when it comes to fintech and innovation. I’m going across the pond this week to relay exactly this message. When it comes to the “special’ relationship”, there has been much speculation on whether there will be a UK-US free trade agreement.
A deal would boost the economies of both countries. And recent agreements with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, have given us a glimpse of what could be achieved. But the greater scale of UK-US services trade means the impact would be much more dramatic.
Yet while officials from both countries insist that the idea of a trade deal is not “dead”, no one expects an agreement any time soon.
But there are many other areas of opportunity for cooperation, with or without a free trade deal. There is already such a great flow of people, ideas, business, and money, between the UK and US.
And we need to do everything possible to facilitate the flow of data, boost digital trade, and expand regulatory cooperation. Given our status as global financial centres, we have the opportunity as well as the responsibility to provide leadership in green finance, sustainable investment, and the transition to net zero.
I am also travelling to Canada, to promote our financial and professional services deeper into North America.
Canada is another key partner with which the UK is negotiating a new free trade deal to build on the existing post-Brexit trade continuity agreement. Whether I’m in Montreal or New York, I will make the case not just for the UK as a place to invest, but as a place to manage investments.
The UK is a pioneer in sustainable and responsible investing – something which is becoming ever more important, and where our leadership is vital.
With all major economies facing challenges, this is a time for us to be bringing down barriers to trade and reducing the costs of doing business.—-
By focusing on our strong economic relationships and working with our partners across the Atlantic, we can lead financial and professional services to a future which is more innovative, sustainable, and responsible.