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Brexit Could Create 200,000 Financial Jobs, Campaigners Say

Updated on
  • It’s ‘wicked’ to scare people about job losses, Redwood says
  • Chancellor Osborne says vote could spark yearlong recession

Britain could add 25 billion pounds ($36 billion) to London’s economic output and create more than 200,000 jobs in financial services by 2020 if voters choose to leave the European Union, according to campaigners.

QuickTake Will Britain Leave the EU?

The 28 nation trading bloc hurts economic growth in the City of London and is preparing tougher rules to undermine the capital’s position as the top global business hub in Europe, Steven Woolfe, the U.K. Independence Party’s financial affairs spokesman, and Conservative party lawmaker John Redwood said in speeches on Monday, according to a statement.

“If we stay in the EU, the City will be under siege,” said Woolfe, a lawyer who has previously advised Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG and Aviva Plc. “It will have to deal with wave after wave of attacks from Brussels, but will be powerless to fight back.”

The warning ahead of Britain’s June 23 referendum on EU membership clashes with senior financiers across Europe who argue that a vote to leave could spur an exodus from London’s financial district. It also comes as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said a vote to leave may spark a yearlong “DIY” recession as the government tries to persuade undecided voters that the risks of a so-called Brexit are too great.

‘Shock People’

It’s “wicked to try to terrify people into thinking their jobs are at risk,” Redwood said, speaking in London. “It’s quite wrong to terrify and shock people.”

A Treasury forecast issued on Monday said tens of thousands of jobs in the U.K.’s financial services sector would be at risk if Britons vote to leave. It would throw into question the ability for more than 5,000 U.K. firms, from banks to asset managers and insurers, to offer services and establish branches in other EU member states, according to the assessment. Companies may be forced to reconfigure subsidiaries in other EU countries and relocate activities and jobs, it said.

“With exactly one month to go to the referendum, the British people must ask themselves this question: can we knowingly vote for a recession?” Osborne said in a speech at the headquarters of home-improvement chain B&Q in Eastleigh, southern England. “Does Britain really want this DIY recession?”

HSBC Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver has said the bank may shift 1,000 jobs to Paris if Britain votes to leave the EU, while a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers compiled for TheCityUK lobby group said that up to 100,000 financial-services jobs could be lost.

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