Time for the City of London to leave Brexit’s shadow

Catherine McGuinness

The City of London Corporation’s policy chief has called for a renewed focus on “the fundamental strength of London” which she says has been overshadowed by Brexit turmoil.

In a statement outlining priorities for the year ahead to the Court of Common Council, Catherine McGuinness acknowledged concerns about the continuing impact of Britain’s divorce from the European Union on the financial and professional services sectors.

She stated, however, that this should not detract from the long-term fundamentals that have underpinned the success of both the City and the rest of the Capital.

In a statement to elected Members at Guildhall, Ms McGuinness said: “Yes, we know we will lose some business as we leave the European Union, but we also know that London and specifically this City has been at the centre of global trade for centuries.

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Catherine McGuinness maintains that London is an attractive destination

“That it’s the City which laid the foundations of modern banking, which devised the first modern international capital markets and which remains at the leading edge of innovation, from fintech and blockchain to green finance.

“The City that offers the world a unique combination of time zone, language, legal system, global talent, and financial services ecosystem which makes us truly a gateway to global capital and advice.”

Despite a slight rise in 2018, the FT reports that there has been a 30% fall in capital entering UK since the EU referendum. However, Ms McGuinness remains bullish about the City’s appeal.

“People come here not just for business but also for our cultural offer, our heritage, our open spaces, and our shopping experience – all aspects which the City Corporation plays some role in providing or supporting.

“The Lord Mayor has been promoting the City’s strengths in tech innovation in his travels.

“We need collectively to join him in underlining London’s fundamental strengths to ensure success for the future. This is not the time to hide our light under a bushel.

“This is something which we are already working on with bodies such as London & Partners, and which we are supporting with our own programme of major projects to enhance this Square Mile.”