I write to you from Leipzig, a city I first visited 30 years ago when it lay behind the Iron Curtain. Back then, I needed a visa to visit, which took months to obtain. I could never have dreamt that Leipzig would one day lie within the European Community of which my country was already a member or that my country would vote to leave that community.
For anyone who has lived a life in Europe, Brexit is a devastating blow. For this magazine, whose raison d’être has been to promote a single market for investment funds in Europe. For your business, whether you sell from the UK or into the UK or simply appreciate the unique contribution that the UK has made to financial services in Europe. For the 27 countries now left to make the union work without the awkward squad.
Above all, as is now apparent, the Brexit vote was a colossal act of self-harm. As everyone in the fund industry knows, no country has benefited more from the single market in financial services than the UK. No country has been more active in selling its fund management expertise across borders than the UK. And what is the plan … Read More »
Farewell London, hello Edinburgh has been a persistent refrain in the UK finance sector since the Brexit vote. Facing the loss of their European passport, London-based firms are looking to relocate. Luxembourg and Dublin are the obvious choices but Edinburgh is in the mix too. Lord Turner, former head of the Financial Services Authority, has told Le Monde the city could take over as Europe’s leading financial centre.
This shows both how friable the Union between Scotland and England has become and how solid Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s skills are in the sector. While Luxembourg and Dublin are primarily administrative centres, Edinburgh has the money management expertise that makes the wheels of industry whirr and spin.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon presumably knows this. Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) was among the business groups going through the door at Bute House after the Brexit vote.
Whether SFE and the First Minister share a vision for the future is another matter. Edinburgh’s finance sector was not a fervent supporter of Scottish independence in 2014. But financiers are nothing if not pragmatic and the curtain has lifted on a new act. To remain within a polity that stages a cavalier referendum to lance a boil within one political … Read More »