This week Boris Johnson released a major new report written by Gerard Lyons, expert economist and Chief Economic Adviser to the Mayor, looking at the London economy from a global perspective. It examines London’s success in a range of sectors, from attracting new investment to technology and tourism, and identifies opportunities and challenges of the future.
Gerard remains optimistic about the future of London, regardless of whether that future lies inside or outside of the EU. In addition to its traditional strength in finance and law, London has seen recent growth of new clusters of activity in areas such as technology, the arts, creativity and culture. London is also the world leader in employment in high value-added sectors (1.5 million), compared to New York (1.2 million) and Los Angeles (784,000) – no other European city makes it into the top five. Added to this, the proportion of workers with tertiary level education qualifications in London is 53.7%, followed by Madrid (47.2%) then Luxembourg (45.9%). In New York, often viewed as our major competitor, it is 35.7%. Combined, Gerard argues, these factors will help to maintain London’s status as Europe’s powerhouse regardless of its status within the EU.
While there are many reasons to remain optimistic, the report also warns that major challenges lie ahead still: the high cost of living, housing, and need for investment in transport to name a few. However, Gerard argues, these challenges will remain whether we choose to leave or remain in the EU.
CLICK HERE to read the full report.
If you would like to find out more about Gerard’s speaking topics and availability, please get in touch at email@example.com.
Wolfgang Münchau is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the Eurozone. Writing for Prospect Magazine, he argues that whilst there is a case for Britain remaining a member of the European Union, it has little to do with economics.
Wolfgang counters the common economic arguments for staying in, and demonstrates that relying on insecure arguments serves nobody. For example, whilst “The single market has a certain ‘motherhood and apple pie’ quality—it is very hard to be against it”, it is not known how much is the single market really worth. Wolfgang points out that EU-wide productivity has been in decline since the official start date of the single market in 1992, and as such “the single market is not visible in the macro statistics.”
He concedes that leaving would present risks, but none compelling enough to make the case for a vote to stay in. “No matter what happens,” Wolfgang contends, “Britain’s future relationship with the EU is going to be one of semi-detachment.”
Click here to read a summary of his key arguments.
Mats Persson, former Director of the think-tank Open Europe, has been appointed as a Special Advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron. Mats was propelled to No. 10 in the hope that he will play a key role in developing a meaningful renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with Europe.
The 36-year-old from Sweden is an unmissable figure in the Westminster village, dominating the EU debate on TV, social media and across the political scene. As the director of Open Europe, Mats advised European governments on EU reform, financial regulation and European integration.
The Times notes that “under Mr Persson’s tenure, [Open Europe] became an institution driven by research challenging the way Europe worked, with a preference for staying inside the 28-member club.”
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In “The Europe Report: A Win-Win Situation” the Mayor of London’s Chief Economic Advisor, Dr Gerard Lyons, considers how London’s economy would be affected by four different scenarios based on the UK’s relationship with Europe in 20 years time. London alone is currently the ninth biggest economy in western Europe and its £350bn economy represents 22.5 per cent of the entire UK economy.
It is the first time that an economic forecast regarding London’s relationship with the EU has looked two decades into the future and their results, according to Gerard, clearly indicate that the best economic scenario for London would be for the UK to remain part of a reformed European Union. However they also indicate that a scenario where the UK leaves the EU but continues to conduct outward looking and positive economic policies with the EU and the wider world offers nearly the same level of benefits.
A third scenario where the UK remains in an unreformed EU offers far less opportunity for economic growth and a worst case scenario where the UK leaves the EU and operates isolationist economic policies would cost London’s economy more than one million jobs.
Click here to read the full report.
To find out more about Gerard Lyons, or to book him as a speaker, please contact Alex Hickman on 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.
Writing an op-ed for City A.M. on the UK’s membership of the EU, Roger Bootle, one of Europe’s most respected economists, told readers to “beware the corporate grandees who claim Brexit would cost Britain dear.”
Referring to those who are keen to maintain the status quo with regard to the EU, whose argument lies in the belief that a huge number of jobs is bound up with the continuation of the UK’s membership, Roger argues that whilst it is true that very many jobs are connected with trade with the EU, ” the issue is not about the precise number – 3.5m, or 3.9m, or 2.8m – but rather with the concepts underlying the estimate.”
Roger points to the fact that the EU and UK would have powerful incentives to maintain trade. He goes on to say that the “economic case to stay in the EU, just like the economic case to come out, is far from overwhelming.”
Click here for the full article.
Michael Portillo on Britain and the EU
Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Michael Portillo makes some interesting observations about Britain’s relationship with the EU in The Times this morning: “Nigel Lawson says that he would vote in a referendum for Britain to leave the European Union. So would I.”
Believing “the UK is unhappy in the EU”, Michael discusses the “disaster” of the Euro, a lack of democracy and Britain’s vision in comparison to that of many other European countries. Michael gives his thoughts on senior ministers: “they whinge about Europe but don’t have the self-confidence to pull out” and on the British public: “fooled into believing they were joining a European club.. our unhappiness mounts.”
Click here to read the article in full.
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