TheCityUK comments on George Osborne’s speech at the Open Europe Pan-European Conference on the EU debate

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, TheCityUK

TheCityUK’s members want the UK to be in a reformed EU, and the Chancellor makes a strong case for how this could be implemented. The relationship with the EU is central to the UK’s international competitiveness as we are the gateway to Europe. In TheCityUK’s recent survey of the boardrooms of financial and professional services firms, the result was clear: the overwhelming majority of the industry wants the UK to stay in the EU but take a leadership role in setting out a reform agenda.  The Chancellor makes a strong and welcome case for reform.  Taking action that creates jobs, increases trade and supports business growth has to be the key focus for the EU, if it is to be globally competitive in the future.

“Part of that future includes the conclusion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The Chancellor has rightly recognised that the completion of the TTIP is an urgent task.  A comprehensive and ambitious agreement including financial and professional services is needed. This is critical given the importance of the sector and its contribution to both the EU’s and US’s economic prosperity. The prize is great, as both the US and EU economies will best be able to generate growth and create jobs if negotiation delivers a robust, forward looking and economically meaningful result. TheCityUK continues to work with our members, the government and our international partners to identify the key issues and provide solutions to help bring this about.

“We warmly support the Chancellor’s comments about the importance of financial and professional services, as the sector generates £65bn in tax revenues and employs 2 million people across the UK.