Rest Of World Still Waiting For British Government To Come To Its Senses

Until then, just keep delivering moving boxes to the City.
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By National Library of Ireland on The Commons [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By National Library of Ireland on The Commons [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Brexit negotiations resumed their leisurely pace today, with Brexit Minister David Davis making his second trip to Brussels to hammer out the details of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union before hastening back to London without agreeing on anything. In case you had not heard, this involves figuring out what to do about the three million Continentals in the U.K. and million limeys on the Continent, as well as exactly how many billions in alimony the Brits will pay, in addition to untangling 40-plus years worth of ties, shared legislation and treaties, before moving on to what the British really want to talk about, which are all of the parting gifts the EU will want to offer them, such as access to the single market and customs union without having to let all of those pesky Poles in.

This is a daunting-sounding task, but the (British) people charged with working it out are sure that with a little British bulldoggery and piss and vinegar, it’ll all work out just fine. This is not a widely-shared opinion.

“Our friends are concerned -- and less friendly countries are bemused and astonished -- that the great British machine, which is world famous for efficiency, now seems to be all over the place,” said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform in London. “Britain’s name has never been held in lower regard than now in terms of its competence, its ability to organize, its ability to be strategic and influence anything.”

Nor is it just the those pessimistic existentialist types across the Channel worried that things aren’t being taken quite seriously enough on Whitehall. It’s also the people down the road in the City, who’d really like to know when to begin reverse-Dunkirking the staff of the U.K.’s most important industry.

"People need to know now," McGuinness said in an interview, adding firms may move up to 15,000 finance jobs without any deal. "Decisions are already being made."

"We need a clear pledge from both sides of a transition period so that there is clarity for business," she said. "We need this as soon as possible, ideally by the end of the year."

If Davis and his government won’t help on that point, allow the European Securities and Markets Authority to weigh in.

To prevent shell companies on the continent that route business back to the UK, the European Securities and Markets Authority on Thursday said trading venues and investment firms should have senior staff with “effective decision-making powers” in the single market….

Esma described daily trading venue operations, such as running the matching engine, as key activities. For national regulators to effectively supervise and take emergency action, “the decision-making for designing, controlling and monitoring the operation of the trading system should not be outsourced outside the EU27”, it said.

Furthermore it added that: “A significant proportion of staff with significant expertise performing key and important activities . . . should be based in the EU27 to ensure familiarity with and sufficient competence of applicable rules and regulations.”

U.K. Resumes Brexit Talks With EU [WSJ]
U.K.’s Apparent Serenity on Brexit Leaves Brussels Perplexed [WSJ]
Britain’s Brexit Chaos Leaves EU Friends and Foes Bemused [Bloomberg]
Time running out to prevent banks’ Brexit exodus: City of London boss [Reuters]
EU regulator rejects ‘letterbox’ relocations after Brexit [FT]

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