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Brexit: Service sector leaders back Remain

April 7, 2016 12:05 PM
By Lib Dem Voice
Sunset over Canary Wharf, London (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3A2016_Canary_Wharf_%26_Greenwich_Peninsula_-_4.jpg)

Brexit could mean sunset for the UK's services sector

Five of Britain's top leaders in the services sector have written an article for the Telegraph supporting Remain. They write:

"Britain sold £226 billion worth of services abroad last year. Our biggest export market by far was the European Union. Forty-four per cent of our goods and services go to the EU, compared with 5 per cent to India and China combined, though that figure is growing.

"The nature of the restrictions can take many forms, ranging from excessive licensing requirements to the refusal to recognise UK professional qualifications. Sometimes rules force companies to set up local subsidiaries run by the host country's citizens, or they limit who can own a company. The EU has removed thousands of such restrictions, to the benefit of the UK economy.

"Take financial services. Thanks to the EU, a firm that is allowed to do business in the UK can do so in every single EU state without having to seek additional permission. If we left the EU, there is a clear risk that many of the barriers would be re-erected. Those who want to leave the EU often point to Canada and Switzerland as countries outside that have struck trade deals with the EU.

"But even the most ambitious of these deals fall way short of the level of EU market access the UK gets for its services firms."