Many Conservative MPs and business leaders in London look forward to a Britain that is independent of Europe, however the wrangling continues. We look at the government’s emphasis on London’s FinTech future
Half way through last year, the results of the British referendum on European Union membership were concluded, and now at the beginning of 2017, very little movement toward acting on the will of the electorate has taken place, with wrangling and hand wringing continuing to take place in Downing Street and Parliament.
For many FX industry executives in London, the possibility of a fully independent Britain was considered a very positive move toward a very free business environment, marking London out as the number one center for all things electronic trading, for Tier 1 banks, for its upstanding business ethic that it has earned over the course of generations, its superior technology and infrastructure and talent base of highly educated and experienced leaders without the burden of having to pay an absolute fortune in subsidies to bail out and bolster mainland Europe’s flagging economy and faltering, outmoded corporate environment.
Whilst Prime Minister Theresa May’s dawdling over the execution of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which is the section of the law that sets out the process by which member states may withdraw from the European Union continues, key figures are now becoming somewhat disenchanted.
An email has been leaked today which has been authored by Sir Ivan Rogers KCMG, who is the UK Permanent Representative to the EU, and former Barclays Capital Head of Public Sector Industry Group for UK and Ireland, in which Sir Ivan absolutely blasts the British government.
For my part, I hope that in my day-to-day dealings with you I have demonstrated the values which I have always espoused as a public servant. I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power. I hope that you will support each other in those difficult moments where you have to deliver messages that are disagreeable to those who need to hear them.
I hope that you will continue to be interested in the views of others, even where you disagree with them, and in understanding why others act and think in the way that they do. I hope that you will always provide the best advice and counsel you can to the politicians that our people have elected, and be proud of the essential role we play in the service of a great democracy.
Leaving now means that a new appointee should be in place by the time that Article 50 is invoked, which is currently scheduled to be at the end of March 2017.
As a UK diplomat, Ivan Rogers is not subject to the EU revolving door rules. The UK has its own revolving door rules which govern UK civil servants when they leave the government, although these do not appear to apply to incoming appointees, only when officials leave government for a new external post.
Recently, FinanceFeeds met with Adam Afriyie, Conservative MP for Windsor, who explained his perspective on how he envisages government stimulation with regard to growth in FinTech post Brexit.
Mr. Afriyie is indeed a politician who understands the technological industry in Britain. He is chairman of Connect Support Services, an IT support company he set up in 1993. He once owned two-thirds of DeHavilland, a political monitoring company, which was sold to British publishing giant EMAP Publications in 2005 for £18 million.
Mr. Afriyie is a stakeholder of Axonn Media, a content marketing business which produces content for clients. The company incorporates brands such as Content Plus, NewsReach, DirectNews and ReelContent. Axonn turned over £9.4m in 2011 and made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m. Afriyie is the largest shareholder of the firm and he and his fellow directors split dividends of £2.2m in 2010 and 2011 and shared directors’ pay of £3.6m over the last five years.
Mr. Afriyie was selected as parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Windsor in October 2003. He was first elected at the 2005 general election with an increased share of the vote (49.5%) and a swing to the Conservatives of 1.2%
In Parliament, he was a member of the Science and Technology select committee from 2005 until its abolition in July 2007, and has since been a member of the Children, Schools and Families select committee. Since 2010 he has been the President of the Conservative Technology Forum. He has been the chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology since 2010.
Mr. Afriyie told FinanceFeeds today “One of this Conservative Government’s priorities has been to foster the growth of the financial technology sector within London’s unique financial ecosystem.
“Our regulators have been quick to adapt with programmes such as the Government Office for Science’s review into distributed ledgers, the creation of the Payment Systems Regulator to review Britain’s payments infrastructure, and the Financial Conduct Authority’s creation of the ‘Regulatory sandbox’ to create a safe space to pro-actively test innovative products” – Adam Afriyie, Conservative MP
“The EU’s stifling approach to the digital market often means that legislation is out of date before it is agreed by the 28 member states, let alone enacted. The fact that the UK is quick to adapt and cautious of over regulation will ensure that FinTech will flourish in post-Brexit Britain and it could well be the case that the EU follows our approach in future”.
Concerns over the European ownership of London Stock Exchange as a result of the proposed merger with Deutsche Boerse, cross border trade reporting and clearing issues, plus MiFID passporting have been cited as three concerns that firms will have to overcome, however there is no doubt whatsoever that with freedom and independence from a decadent, socialist and less than modern Europe will free Britain’s cutting edge powerhouse with its leading edge technology, top quality electronic trading firms and world leading institutional and interbank sector will enable a broader relationship with key regions of the world, namely North America and the Far East.
Image: Ivan Rogers (first right). Courtesy of London Evening Post
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