The Lord Mayor of London has written in today’s CityAm about the future of London:
Today marks the start of a visit to continental Europe – to Spain and Portugal – where I have numerous meetings scheduled with government representatives and business leaders over the next few days.
Spain in particular holds a close personal connection, as during the early part of my career at PwC, I spent a productive and eye-opening secondment in our office in Barcelona.
But this visit is not about reflecting on what was a wonderful time in my career or practising my Spanish. There are two things in particular that I am keen to promote abroad.
The first is to press the case for the work of the International Regulatory Strategy Group for an EU27 trade deal that includes financial services. This has been a pan-industry effort to make the argument for a two-way market access approach based on mutual recognition, and how it can work for both parties.
The second is to carry the message that London, as a financial centre, remains an asset for all of Europe – not just for the UK, and that this will remain the case after Brexit, as our leading global financial centre status helps maximise the efficiency of Europeans’ ability to raise finance, invest savings, manage risk and settle trades.
Both countries have a strong footprint on the UK economy.
Spain is the largest EU27 investor in financial services, while Santander, BBVA, and Telefonica all have a large presence here.
My visit will also be an opportunity to build on the links that were strengthened during the state visit last year by King Felipe and Queen Letizia. My predecessor, Sir Andrew Parmley, hosted both at a business forum at the Mansion House and later at a Guildhall Banquet in their honour.