Brexit must not mean exit for Britain’s banks. That was the message to the Prime Minister this week from Rushanara Ali MP. Many major banks are threatening to relocate their British headquarters from Canary Wharf and the City of London to Dublin, Frankfurt or Madrid following the referendum to leave the EU. Some may move as soon as 2017. The head of the British Bankers’ Association has warned that as many as 70,000 jobs are at risk.
Rushanara Ali called on Theresa May in the House of Commons to ensure that British-based banks retain their ‘passporting’ rights to operate freely in the EU after the UK leaves.
Speaking in the Chamber, Rushanara said:
‘Some of the 70,000 jobs at risk are being done by people living in Bethnal Green and Bow. These are not just bankers, but also all the jobs that rely on the banking sector, from security staff to catering, from analysts to receptionists.’
In reply, the prime minister said she was ‘aware of the importance of financial services to the United Kingdom, to our economy as a whole and, obviously, to particular constituencies regarding individuals and their employment.’
After the debate, Ms. Ali said ‘we must keep up the pressure on government ministers to ensure their warm words are backed by concrete action before Brexit to protect local jobs.’