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BREXIT U-TURN: Lobby group changes stance on leaving EU and calls bloc a ‘straitjacket’

THE LEADING City of London lobby group today performed a dramatic u-turn by dropping its past opposition to Britain’s exit from the EU.

In a surprise reversal, TheCityUK hailed last year’s historic referendum vote to break ties with Brussels as an “unprecedented opportunity” for the country.It also urged the Government to overhaul trade and investment policy to ensure that British business and financial services sector can make the best out of .

TheCityUK, which represents the financial sector including firms employing more than two million people in total, had campaigned against leaving the in the run up to the referendum.

Theresa May pointingGETTY

TheCityUK now sees leaving the UK as an ‘unprecedented oppertunity’


Since the vote on June 23, the organisation has been pressing the Government to try to protect the City from any financial shock caused by the departure from the bloc.But today the lobby group admitted EU membership had been a “straitjacket” on British trade beyond Europe.

A statement from the organisation said: “TheCityUK is a strong believer in the potential opportunities that the UK’s departure from the European Union will offer.”

Richard Tice of Leave Means LeaveGETTY

Richard Tice has welcomed the former Remain supporters of the City to his side


Gary Campkin, director of policy and strategy at TheCityUK, said the organisation had reassessed its position following the economy’s progress since the vote.

There are a whole range of challenges and opportunities

Gary Campkin of TheCityUK

“It reflects the fact that there was a vote to leave the EU and as a result there are a whole range of challenges and opportunities.”An area of opportunity in leaving the EU is the opportunity for first time in 40-plus years to have an independent trade and investment policy.”

He urged the Government to make an intensive study of the value of trade in services and the makeup of global demand.

LondonSkyscrapersGETTY

The lobby group has admitted for the first time that the EU restricts UK trade elsewhere


“In many ways global rules on services trade have lagged behind those on manufactured goods and agriculture,” Mr Campkin said.He wanted “a concerted effort led by UK and other like-minded countries to modernise, update and ensure the rules that govern services trade reflect the way services trade is done today. We will be absolutely freer to do it outside the EU.”

Mr Campkin called for the Government to embark on a major drive to liberalise trade and build new trading links around the world.

“The Prime Minister has signalled her commitment to striking the best trade deals around the world post-Brexit,” said Mr Campkin.

The Financial sector in londonGETTY

TheCityUK has called on the government to build to trade links across the globe

“While existing key commercial links will be maintained, there are significant opportunities for trade and investment policy to be varied in innovative ways, breaking away from the legacy of past practice set by the EU.”Campaigners for a full Brexit last night welcome the organisation’s conversion to their cause.

Richard Tice, co-chairman of the anti-Brussels pressure group Leave Means Leave, said: “Now that the opportunities of Brexit, by leaving the Single Market and customs union become ever clearer, we are delighted to welcome the former Remain supporters from the City to our camp.

“Leave Means Leave have led the way and it is good to see others follow.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/761336/Brexit-city-lobby-group-changes-stance-leaving-EU-straightjacket-TheCityUK

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