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JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon told shareholders in an annual letter Brexit “cannot be positive” for the UK in the short term and will lead to increased costs for customers, both in the UK and throughout Europe. He added: “Europe has had, and will continue to have, the upper hand.” City bankers are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of a detailed agreement between the UK and EU on financial services, which remains Britain’s biggest and most lucrative industry.
Last month, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on financial services, but they still at loggerheads over an equivalence deal that would grant further access to UK-based firms.
Speaking on the distance between the UK and EU in the current talks, Mr Dimon said: “In the short run (i.e., the next few years), this cannot possibly be a positive for the United Kingdom’s GDP – the effect after that will be completely based upon whether the United Kingdom has a comprehensive and well executed strategic plan that is acceptable to Europe.”
He hailed London as being “a magnificent place to do business” in terms of the rule of law, people and technology but also warned the future financial rules with the EU are hugely uncertain after Brexit, and named four EU cities that will benefit.
Mr Dimon said: “It is clear that, over time, European politicians and regulators will make many understandable demands to move functions into European jurisdictions.
“Because of this – and because of strong European efforts to compete with London – Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and Amsterdam will grow in importance as more financial functions are performed there.”
JP Morgan has around 12,000 staff in London and 19,000 across the UK, but Mr Dimon warned it is possible a “tipping point” may arise where the firm has to move all of its operations out of the capital serving the EU to the continent.
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Joe Biden added his voice to calls urging for calm in Northern Ireland, after a week of violence shook the province.
The US President also reiterated his support for the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was negotiated as part of the Brexit deal.
Under the terms of the agreement negotiated with the EU, goods arriving from the UK are subject to custom controls at Northern Irish ports.
Unionists have argued, however, that the protocol has strained ties with the rest of the UK through the imposition of trade barriers and has inflamed loyalist tensions.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said: “We are concerned by the violence in Northern Ireland and we join the British, Irish and Northern Irish leaders in their calls for calm.”
She added: “We welcome the provisions in both the EU-UK trade co-operation agreement and the Northern Ireland protocol, which helped protect the gains of the Belfast/Good Friday agreement.”
Brexit is no excuse for the dramatic unrest that is shaking Northern Ireland for the seventh consecutive night, a Tory MP has said.
The civil unrest which erupted in Northern Ireland has partly been blamed on Brexit.
Speaking on BBC Newsnight Former Conservative Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said she doesn’t believe Northern Ireland is in jeopardy.
“I do not believe that the peace process is in jeopardy,” said Ms Villiers.
“It’s a depressing fact that rioting and lawlessness of the kind we’ve seen on the streets over recent days is something that has disfigured Northern Ireland over decades.
“We need a robust police response to it but references back to Brexit are not an excuse for these rioters.
“Nothing justifies what they’re doing.”
Labour’s Emily Thornberry has been accused of failing to understand international trade policy after the shadow minister warned Britain could accidentally end up with a trade deal with China.
The Government has made joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) one of its key priorities for trade in 2021. A formal application to join the group was submitted by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss in January.
The bloc is made up of 11 countries: Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan.
It is one of the fastest-growing free trade areas in the world and is set to overtake the EU in the next few years.
However, Ms Thornberry has written to Ms Truss demanding the public consultation on joining the CPTPP be re-opened.
She said China is also eager to join the bloc and Britain could be forced into a trade deal with the communist country via the trade bloc.