Mayor: “Listen to the City” on Brexit

impassioned: Lord Mayor in full flow

IT is in the national interest to listen to the City of London as Brexit talks gather pace, the Lord Mayor has insisted.

Addressing guests at the annual Dinner to Her Majesty’s Judges, Dr Andrew Parmley stressed that the Square Mile was held in “the highest global esteem”, and that prominent City figures have plenty to offer in terms of guidance throughout the negotiations.

“The weakening of the professional and business services eco-system could harm prospects of job creation and inward investment – here and across the EU27, who receive 55% of the UK’s business services exports – of which legal is the biggest sector,” Dr Parmley said during his speech at Mansion House.

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The Square Mile is held “in the highest global esteem”, the Lord Mayor said.

Our percentage share of global legal services is 10% – the same as the US, despite the fact we are one tenth of the size.

It is in our national interest to heed a sector held in the highest global esteem and deference.”

A hard Brexit is back on the cards after Theresa May moved to prop up her government with the help of the DUP.

It is reported that the arrangement will see the Northern Irish party receive £1.5billion in exchange for votes.

Last week an independent Square Mile contingent made the trip to Brussels to state the City’s case for access to a free market, seemingly disillusioned with the progress of talks thus far.

“I think it is fair to say shockwaves are still being felt from last year’s European referendum,” said the Lord Mayor.

Indeed, there remains difference of opinion, and ambiguity, over the terms of our future commercial and social relationships; with Europe and the wider world.”

But speaking alongside the Lord Chancellor, David Lidington, and the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Dr Parmley underlined that in these times of uncertainty the country can look to its own justice system as a source of strength.

He explained: “Of one thing we can be certain: the pre-eminent position of English law, UK courts and British legal services. Why?”

“One, the independent, intellectual, incorruptible reputation of our Judiciary. Two, the outstanding quality, certainty and flexibility of English law; bedrock for all good business [and] three, the leadership of London in international dispute resolution – reinforced by the imminent launch of the biggest bespoke business court in the world – some four times bigger than its nearest competitor.

The world can, and should, continue to have confidence in its greatest legal system.”