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Opinion
Lionel Laurent

The City of London Fails to Take Back Control After Brexit

The European Union is feeling emboldened in its tough stance on finance, much to the Brits’ displeasure.

A dimmer future?

A dimmer future?

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The City of London’s chief coping mechanism for dealing with Brexit’s threat to the financial services business is to dismiss the loss of jobs and investment as a trickle rather than a flood.

Yes, cheerleaders argue, some 7,500 jobs have been moved to the European Union, but that’s a fraction of the hundreds of thousands predicted by the doomsayers. Sure, job openings in London’s finance industry almost halved in 2020, but that had a lot to do with Covid-19. Of course EU share trading has flowed to the continent, but it’s a low-margin business that’s symbolic at best.