Brussels believed it could regulate its way to victory, but it’s all stick and no carrot strategy was never going to work.
This article for the Telegraph dated 05.07.21 begins:
The banks would all move to Frankfurt. The dealing rooms would switch to Paris. And the asset managers would decamp to Amsterdam and Dublin.
After the UK voted to leave the European Union five years ago, our main rivals on the other side of the Channel poured a huge amount of energy into destroying the City of London. Control of the continent’s key financial centres was the one prize it wanted above all others, while losing all those lucrative jobs would be the killer blow that would make the British regret their decision.
But in the last few weeks it has become clear that plot has failed, and failed badly. We learned over the weekend that London has already reclaimed its position as the key centre for equity trading.
No more than a handful of jobs have drifted away, and most of those that have are simply ticking a few boxes to comply with the rules, while only this week London has started redesigning its listing rules to encourage more tech floats.
In fact, the EU played its hand very badly. There was a real threat to London’s pre-eminence, but as so often the EU believed it could regulate its way to victory. Its strategy was all stick and no carrot, and that was never going to work. The UK has had a lucky escape - but right now it looks as if the City is safe.
When Britain voted to leave the EU five years ago, the bloc had plenty of different objectives. It wanted to keep the UK close enough to control, maintain the unity of the remaining 27 members, and squeeze as much money out of us on the way out as possible. But one arguably took precedence over all others. It wanted to kill off the City.
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