TheCityUK hails opportunity for trade and investment policy reset

TheCityUK has today published new calls for the UK to make the most of the once-in-a-generation opportunity to recalibrate and repurpose its trade and investment policy to benefit the wider economy once Britain leaves the EU.

Its paper underlines the potential presented by deals that focus on regulatory coherence and cooperation as well as next generation international trade and investment agreements which would not only strengthen London’s position as the leading global financial centre, but also bring new growth opportunities to key financial centres across the whole of the country.

In the latest of a series of papers from TheCityUK analysing the challenges and opportunities arising from Brexit for the UK-based financial and professional services industry, ‘Future UK Trade and Investment Policy’ highlights the unprecedented importance for UK policies to relate to global growth trends in both developed and emerging markets. It calls for greater focus on supporting trade in services to reflect its vital contribution to the national economy and underlines the need for Britain to take a global leadership role in twenty-first century issues such as data and data localisation, cyber security and Fintech.

Gary Campkin, Director, Policy & Strategy, TheCityUK, said

The Prime Minister has signalled her commitment to striking the best trade deals around the world post-Brexit. One of the most significant opportunities for the UK following its exit from the EU will be its ability – for the first time in decades – to pursue an independent UK trade and investment policy based on UK interests.

The UK is the leading exporter of financial services globally, generating a record high trade surplus in 2015 of $97bn. Around 40% of the UK’s trade surplus in financial services is with Europe. However, over the next 10 – 15 years, 90% of global economic growth is expected to be generated outside Europe and these markets – developed and emerging – must be a priority focus for the country post-Brexit.

The decision to leave the EU has led to much debate about the need for the UK to replicate existing policies and international trade and investment agreements. TheCityUK’s paper argues that while existing key commercial links will be maintained, there are significant opportunities for trade and investment policy to be varied in innovative ways, breaking away from the legacy of past practice set by the EU.