The City’s reputation means it is still an attractive place to work despite the uncertainty of Brexit, according to the Corporation’s head of economic development.
The audit and risk management committee discussed the latest twists and turns in the talks to secure a Brexit deal at their meeting on Tuesday (25 September).
Speaking after the Labour party discussed Brexit at its conference in Liverpool, the Corporation’s head of economic development, Giles French, said the situation is changing so quickly “it’s often what’s happened in the last 24 hours or last 30 minutes” that he is considering.
However, he said his department had looked at the staffing levels of two companies based in the Square Mile which have taken 2,000 jobs out of the UK between them.
It is working to boost the Square Mile’s “place as the world’s leading international centre” in the face of the risk of potential loss of business support for the City after Brexit next March. This meant the Corporation has rated the risk as red.
He said companies based in the City are in “contingency planning”.
“We have seen jobs move as we thought with Brexit, probably less than we thought, but still considerable.”
He described Brexit as “a triple decker” with a divorce, transition stage and “a future state element”.
Councillor Anne Fairweather (Tower) asked how to make the City an appealing place for people to work post-Brexit.
Mr French said: “The UK has a superb reputation for doing business here. The rule of law is very strong as well as language and the time zone.”
He said on the trips the Lord Mayor has taken out of London and overseas “we have found that the reputation of London is extremely strong.”
The Corporation has expanded its regional strategy from three to six centres to promote UK exports. It now comprises Northern Ireland, Scotland, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Cardiff.
Other moves are the Asia Next Campaign, championing of London and the UK as a leading global hub for Fintech (financial technology), and a cyber security partnership with the City of London Police to make the Capital “the most cyber secure business environment in the world”.
It has also launched a high level steering group to look at reinforcing “the UK’s place in the world as ‘Global Britain’, continuing to make tangible progress in emerging markets and establishing the City of London as a global hub for sustainable development finance,” said Mr French.