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Cayman has more Brexit power than UK cities, claims mayor

| 05/07/2017 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Andy Burnham, the mayor of the North West English city of Manchester, has said the Cayman Islands currently has more influence in the Brexit talks than the UK regions. In a speech to local government associations, Burnham raised the growing fear that the financial services sector is likely to play a dominant part in the talks now underway with the European Union, as he demanded more say for British cities and a permanent seat in the talks.

“If the government fails to listen to our concerns it will raise fears that we are heading towards a London-centric Brexit dominated by the City of London and the financial services industry,” he stated in his speech. “It cannot be right that Britain’s overseas territories, such as the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, have a permanent seat at the Brexit table whilst we are denied one. Greater Manchester is ready to play our part and make a constructive contribution to the process of leaving the European Union.”

While the issue of Brexit remains front and centre for the UK, it is also a concern for Cayman’s offshore sector and the authorities here would disagree with Burnham’s position, given the lack of influence any British Overseas Territory has with the UK government. Nevertheless, Cayman and other BOTs in this region that are engaged in the financial sector have pressed hard to ensure that they are not completely left out of the talks.

Last month Premier Alden McLaughlin welcomed the former overseas territories minister’s move to the Brexit department and the appointment of a finance expert to replace her.

“Whilst it is a shame to lose Baroness Anelay as our minister at the FCO, we have now gained a great friend that will be at the Brexit negotiating table who is familiar with the combined priority areas of the overseas territories,” McLaughlin said about Lord Ahmad, who was a City banker before moving into the political arena.

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has only increased since the referendum result, when 51.9% of those who voted in the UK referendum opted to leave the EU.

Although formal talks began last month, there is still no indication about how these negotiations will go and predictions about the outcome vary wildly and widely as no one — politician or pundit, businessman or public sector worker, here or in Britain — has any real idea.

However, given that the financial markets, which fuel 50% of Cayman’s economy, depend on stability, the whole issue remains as problematic for Cayman and the other BOTs as it does for those living in Manchester and elsewhere in the UK.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

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