Brexit vote not ‘an accident or a fluke’, ‘we’ve got to move on with our life’ and any talk of second vote dismissed – Lord Jonathan Hill

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Brexit vote not ‘an accident or a fluke’, ‘we’ve got to move on with our life’ and any talk of second vote dismissed – Lord Jonathan Hill

Wednesday, 1 March 2017 - Lord Jonathan Hill, Former UK EU Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union has said that the Brexit vote was not ‘an accident or a fluke’ and dismissed outright the idea of a second vote on the issue.

Lord Hill was being interviewed jointly with the Irish Minister for Financial Services, Eoghan Murphy TD, in the House of Lords ahead of speaking at a Brexit Briefing in London for over 200 Financial Services sector attendees hosted by leading Irish law firm Matheson.

Commenting on the issue during the same interview, Minister Murphy described London as remaining strong as a financial centre and Ireland as ‘the natural location of choice’ for UK companies or companies currently using the UK as a gateway in to the European Union.

Matheson Managing Partner, Michael Jackson said the Irish approach was one based on ‘partnership rather than predatory engagement’ and that this was welcomed by clients Matheson deals with.

On the same day that the House of Lords is debating Article 50, Lord Hill, Minister Murphy and Matheson Managing Partner Michael Jackson were interviewed about their views on Brexit, its impact on the Financial Services sector and the importance of the Irish-UK relationship post-Brexit. The full video will be made available before the weekend on Matheson’s Brexit Forum at Matheson.com.

Lord Hill also described a shifting mood in the UK capital saying that, in his opinion ‘people don’t want to leave London.’ While businesses have to make decisions in their interest, it wouldn’t be like a ‘switch flicking’ and the City of London wouldn’t suddenly ‘migrate to Paris, Frankfurt or elsewhere.

Minister Murphy strongly reasserted Ireland’s commitment to the European Union in the course of the interview and stated that ‘London will continue to be a strong global financial services centre and that this is in the EU’s interest’. He also set out the levels of investment and planning being undertaken by the Irish government to prepare for any opportunities arising from Brexit and cited common language and legal systems, talent availability and tax and regulatory provisions as being the basis for Ireland as the ‘natural location of choice’ for UK companies, or those based in the UK, who wanted a gateway in to the EU post-Brexit.

Matheson’s Managing Partner, Michael Jackson commented on the importance of the UK-Ireland relationship particularly as it relates to business to business engagement.  He said that ‘Ireland’s approach differs from others’ and it is ‘welcomed by the clients we talk to in London’.  He said that the approach was based on ‘partnership rather than predatory engagement’.  Jackson also went on to note that the two-year window to negotiate a deal once Article 50 has been triggered is less than the average time it takes for an EU Directive to pass through the legislative process – and significantly shorter than the average time it takes to negotiate international trade deals.

Concluding the interview Lord Hill said that ‘we’ve got to get on with our life and Europe has to get on with its life’ and that the quicker that happens ‘the better it will be for Europe, Britain and for business…’

Article Published: 01/03/2017