Meghan Markle could have been 'Brexit ambassador' says Greer
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The UK is becoming more attractive for businesses following its departure from the European Union, the study by a consulting firm said. It is now ranked fourth of the most attractive investment locations in the world. Consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed Britain has now overtaken India in their survey of more than 5,000 companies.
According to PwC boss Bob Moritz, Britain owed its improvement to the fact it was an “independent country”.
The boost, which sees only the US, Germany and China beat the UK, comes despite worrying signs the EU was attempting a power-grab of London’s financial clout.
In December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a Brexit trade deal with the bloc days before the end of the transition period.
In January, Amsterdam overtook London as Europe’s largest share trading centre.
An average of €9.2billion (£8.07bn) shares a day were traded on Euronext Amsterdam and the Dutch arms of CBOE Europe and Turquoise in January, a more than fourfold increase from December.
The surge came as volumes in London fell sharply to €8.6billion (£7.5bn), removing the UK from its historic position as the main centre for the European market, according to data from CBOE Europe.
However, John Keiger, professor of French history at the University of Cambridge, argued there was no way Brussels would be able to spell the end of London’s status as one of the world’s leading financial hubs, though.
He explained in a recent report: “It would have been a major challenge to the City if the EU had prepared for Brexit by developing a single European financial centre to encourage deeper capital markets and an accompanying financial eco-system of lawyers, accountants and fintech companies.
“In fact, the reverse has happened.
“Rather as with Napoleon’s 1806 blockade, the continent has splintered.
“Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and Amsterdam have each taken a share of the underwhelming relocations, allowing the City to divide and rule among increasingly fragmented European capital markets by sheer dint of volume and concentration of high-value business.”
Frank Eich, the former adviser to the Bank of England, said London should not be written off.
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He said no other financial centre offers the same “breadth and depth of specialist knowledge and skills”.
Mr Eich said: “Despite Brexit, London remains one of the most important global financial centres.”
He said while the British capital lacks the large US market, London is “more diverse” and more “intentionally focussed”.
Writing for Germany’s RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland, Mr Eich continued: “In return, London is probably more diverse – for example, a leader in the Islamic financial world – and more intentionally focussed.”
Since January 1, the UK is no longer part of the EU single market and the bloc faced increasing pressure to handle specialised financial services previously provided in London.
Due to Brexit, some institutes moved employees from London to EU cities including Paris, Dublin and Frankfurt.
Ahead of the Brexit trade deal, Seema Shah, chief strategist of Principal Global Investors, warned being out of the Single Market would see jobs, people and capital “trickle” from the UK.
She said: “Being excluded from the world’s largest single market area will see jobs, people and capital flows trickle away from the UK, in search of destinations which instead embrace globalisation.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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