At a gathering of key industry figures in Frankfurt last night, TheCityUK Chairman Gerry Grimstone reinforced the importance of London to European prosperity, describing the city as a ‘European asset’ rather than just a British one. Mr Grimstone also praised the close relationship between the UK and Germany, in particular their joint efforts to promote financial and related professional services across the continent and to ensure economic prosperity across the EU. During a series of meetings, TheCityUK, the voice of UK financial and related professional services, and industry figures in Frankfurt discussed how to drive European economic competitiveness, using common membership of the European Union as a shared agenda.
Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of TheCityUK, said:
“The City of London is a European asset as well as the world’s leading financial centre. The message for policymakers in the UK and in the EU is that both the UK and EU can benefit from the UK’s membership of the Single Market. The UK’s role as a leading financial centre relies significantly on access to the Single Market. This gives British businesses, and international businesses that select London as their European headquarters, access to the world’s largest market with 500 million people.
“We are also clear that we have a role in the UK’s EU referendum debate. The four themes we have are that the UK economy benefits from the country’s participation in the Single Market, the UK should take a leading role working with EU partners to reform the European Union, we need financial regulation that serves the interests of the ‘real economy’, and that we firmly believe in the UK’s future as a European financial centre, within the EU, open to the world.
“TheCityUK sees Germany as an invaluable partner in promoting financial and related professional services. Germany is already a key ally of the UK on a number of EU issues including the future of the EU Budget, and the development of the Single Market. Completing the Single Market in services is an economic priority. The elimination of all remaining barriers to trade inside the EU would increase GDP, largely based on growth in output of services.
“It is up to both Britain and Germany to ensure that the value of the financial and related professional services sector is understood, the opportunities for its growth are gained, and that the services it offers reach more people and businesses than ever before.”