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Financial figurehead calls for clarity over Brexit

By Colm Kelpie

The City of London could see an "avalanche" of companies leaving unless the UK government can bring some clarity to the Brexit talks and the proposed transition, the mayor of London's financial district has warned.

Alderman Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said there has so far been little movement of staff out of London to other locations as a result of the Brexit vote, but preparations are being made.

Mr Parmley, who will also visit Belfast tomorrow, said: "In terms of people actually leaving the City, we're told night and day that the City is going to decamp to Dublin, to Frankfurt, to Paris, to New York etc. Thus far we've seen very little movement of people, although we've seen a great deal of preparation for movement."

Mr Parmley will visit Belfast's Centre for Secure IT (CSIT) at Queen's University. 

CSIT is the UK's main site for research into cyber-security.

Mr Parmley added: "Northern Ireland's financial services sector has seen exponential growth in recent years, thanks to its technological innovations, skilled workforce, competitive cost of property and ability to attract inward investment. I want to ensure that this trend continues and I'm delighted to be visiting."

At a Dublin Chamber Brexit lunch, he said JP Morgan was planning on doubling its headcount in the EU outside the UK, as it plans to expand its staff in Dublin, but is still retaining 14,000 workers in the Square Mile.

"That's the current situation but this could become a complete avalanche, or deluge, if we don't get clarity about transition."

Mr Parmley holds the ceremonial post of mayor of the municipal authority that oversees London's financial district.

Belfast Telegraph

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