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Last week did not go as Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers might have hoped. The scrappy kid from Scranton’s got no time for the intolerant toffs running Blighty, and his Irish eyes do not look fondly upon any international law-violating plans that could throw his ancestral homeland back into tribal bloodshed, potentially cutting out a potentially key pillar of a post-EU place in the sun for Britain. The perfidious continentals across the Channel are also feeling their oats, as well as not particularly well-disposed to their former partner.

But Brexit was never about facing hard realities or making tough choices. It was about dreaming up your most extravagant fantasy, closing your eyes and attempting to will it into existence—and that fantasy is not of a London more in line with Florence or Prague than with a real, vital city and global financial center. And Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is certainly not done dreaming of a world in which an increasingly irrelevant London continues to rank with the New Yorks and Singapores (and, let’s be honest, Frankfurts) of the world.

“We are starting a new chapter in the history of financial services and renewing the U.K.’s position as the world’s pre-eminent financial center,” said Mr. Sunak.

The plan includes making the U.K. a leader in green finance and a series of reviews to ensure its financial sector is efficiently regulated. The U.K. chancellor announced a task force that will be charged with refreshing U.K. securities-listing rules to make it easier to raise money in London….

Hoping to encourage the EU to declare its hand, the U.K. Treasury on Monday published a series of its own equivalence decisions relating to firms based in the EU. They include recognizing that derivatives traded on EU exchanges would be classified by the U.K. as exchange-traded rather than over-the-counter, and therefore attract lower capital requirements.

The Treasury said publishing its own equivalence decisions delivered “on its commitment to be open, predictable and transparent, even in the absence of clarity from the EU on their approach.”

The early returns on this open-hearted, endearingly delusional vision? Not great, even among the equally delusional.

SoftBank has been holding internal discussions on whether to relocate the unit that manages its $100bn Vision Fund from the UK to Abu Dhabi….

A person close to Mr Misra… said that the move was primarily driven by an attempt by the Japanese conglomerate to capture a substantially lower tax rate for profits booked by SBIA…. Other people with knowledge of the discussions said the company had been debating the issue for months for regulatory benefits beyond reduced tax rates.

U.K. Sets Plan to Keep Up With New York as Financial Center After Brexit [WSJ]
SoftBank’s Vision Fund unit considers move to Abu Dhabi from UK [FT]
Trump’s Defeat Weakens Boris Johnson in Urgent Brexit Talks [NYT]


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