Brexit Britain win as London named best city for young businesses

French newspaper Ruptures producing documentary on Brexit

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After leaving the EU on January 1 2021, City insiders feared Brexit would damage businesses as the trade deal included no equivalence with the bloc’s financial sector. However, new data puts the UK capital ahead of other European financial hubs.

Analysis of Forbes 30 Under 30 lists by business comparison platform Bionic saw London host the highest number of young entrepreneurs.

The UK capital houses 115 of Forbes’ list of top young business persons, ahead of New York with 106 and San Francisco at 88.

Berlin placed eighth on the list, with only 10 of the outlet’s list of entrepreneurs living in the German capital.

While the US still is home to the most young entrepreneurs with 428 of the list, or 41 percent, residing in the country, the UK houses 145, or 14 percent.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, told DW fears Brexit would crash business in the capital have not come to pass.

She told the outlet: “While some business has inevitably relocated to the continent, predictions of tens of thousands jobs leaving the City have not come to fruition.

“At the same time, many more thousands of jobs have been created as EU firms have shifted some of their operations to the City to continue to operate in the UK market.

“We have also seen developers and investors continue to show confidence in the Square Mile [The City of London] through major planning applications.

“In 2021, a total of 4,360,944 square feet (400,000 square meters) of new office floorspace was approved — an increase of almost 70 percent year-on-year.”

Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at Interactive Investor, also told EuroNews London is still dominant in several markets, including foreign exchange and derivatives.

He said: “London has spent hundreds of years as a global financial centre. Brexit will not change that, certainly not anytime soon.

“Leaving the EU brings challenges and there are threats from Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

“But the likelihood that European rivals will wrest the crown of Europe’s primary finance hub from the UK is slim.”

Consultants EY said in December the number of finance jobs shifting from Britain to the EU over Brexit is less than initially expected.

In their Brexit tracker at the time, they said: “However, over the last year, a number of the largest investment banks located in the UK have revised down the number of staff that will be relocated to the EU, taking the current number of Brexit-related job move announcements to just under 7,400, down from 7,600 in December 2020.”

This is a fraction of the 1.1 million people working in finance.

There have been around 2,800 new hires in the EU due to Brexit, which avoid the need to relocate some staff from London, with 2,200 finance jobs also created in the UK, EY said.

Brussels has yet to sign off on a new discussion forum for financial regulators agreed in principle in December 2020.

Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, has said it was time to focus on long-term competitive factors.

Britain has since begun overhauling UK rules to make London more attractive for international investors and compete better with EU centres like Amsterdam.

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