Should the City fear major job losses if we leave the EU?

London Canary Wharf

Ed Bowsher, deputy editor and senior analyst at Share Radio, says Yes.

I am in no doubt that there will be job losses across the City if we leave the EU. That’s partly because the UK economy will slow down immediately after the referendum, and that will hit confidence and deal flow. But there are bigger long-term issues too. A post-Brexit EU will probably change the current “passport” rules which allow City banks to sell their services across the continent. And the EU won’t be kind to us in any post-Brexit negotiations – Brussels will want to discourage any other countries from leaving. And if Britain isn’t in Brussels arguing for sensible regulation of the financial sector, a more dirigiste EU regulatory approach is inevitable, which will damage the City even if we’re no longer part of the EU. Don’t get me wrong. The City will remain a major financial centre – Hong Kong and Singapore have prospered as offshore centres. But it will be damaged, and there will be significant job losses.

Andrea Leadsom, co-founder of the EU Fresh Start Project and Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire, says No.

As someone who spent over 25 years in finance, four years on the Treasury Committee and a year as City minister, I know what a UK success story this industry really is and what a huge pool of talented people from across the world work in it. Our competitors are New York, Hong Kong and Singapore – no EU country comes close. So it’s pretty depressing, as well as extraordinary, that Jamie Dimon came out with his remarks; he joins the sorry ranks of establishment figures who are doing their bit to scare the British voter. But let’s be real here. Does anyone think those highly paid individuals at JP Morgan, Goldmans, and Citi honestly believe their own rhetoric? Or are they saying it because the status quo is simply more convenient for them? The Brexit doom-mongers are after all the very same gang who said the City would collapse if we didn’t join the euro. We were more than fine then and we will be absolutely fine on 24 June. These businesses are going nowhere, Leave or Remain.

Full story: Should the City fear major job losses if we leave the EU?: City A.M.

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