Belfast Telegraph

Firms urged to speak out about their Brexit issues without fear of political perception

By Kalyeena Makortoff

Businesses should come clean about the difficulties they are facing as a result of Brexit and the impact it will have on consumers, the Square Mile's governing body has said.

Catherine McGuinness, head of policy at the City of London Corporation, said that business leaders speaking up about challenges is a sign of realism rather than politics.

"I don't think that's being political," she said.

"I think that saying Brexit is very difficult and there are real problems here and we need to sort out a sensible way isn't necessarily being political, I think that's the reality.

"And I think it is useful when business tells us that's the reality and it's going to have these implications for customers."

Ms McGuinness explained that the corporation supported Remain before the referendum but has since "adopted a pragmatic approach" and is working with the financial sector to identify issues and "possible solutions".

Few financial services firms and a minority of business leaders have come out to say that the EU divorce will leave their companies in a better position, the most prominent of which have included the Wetherspoon pub chain chairman Tim Martin and entrepreneur James Dyson. Mr Martin has accused Remain figures of being too negative and claims the Brexit process is unlikely to have an adverse effect on the UK economy as companies will be able to replace EU suppliers with international alternatives, while Leave campaigner Mr Dyson has said he believes 90% of future growth would come from outside the EU.

The City of London Corporation has been calling for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU which would cover financial services through mutual recognition, meaning financial firms will not have to rely on equivalence - which requires approval by the bloc and could be revoked.

Belfast Telegraph

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