The British business community is concerned about the business climate in London. The government should take more measures to attract multinational companies to the UK. Former UK correspondent Peter de Ward tells us how the business climate is faring three years after Brexit. “There are complaints, and rightly so, that the UK has basically isolated itself after Brexit.”
Many companies are not satisfied with the rules previously set by the European Union. In order to trade in certain securities, you must be resident within the European Union. This led to a number of trading platforms moving from London to Amsterdam. Businesses are also not happy with the current state of the pound sterling.
Supervision and rules are constantly changing
On the other hand, major companies, including Shell and Unilever, have moved their headquarters to London, but, according to De Waard, this has not yet been fulfilled. “They are complaining that the number of listings is down on the London Stock Exchange, but you also see that on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.” In addition, there are stricter rules about this in the UK Special Purpose Acquisition Companys. These are companies that go to the stock exchange to obtain capital in order to finance an acquisition or merger within two years. “So the business climate in the Netherlands is more attractive after all.”
Not just the British regulator Financial Conduct Committee became tougher. Financial controls are being tightened all over the world. “This applies to America, France and the Netherlands as well, as the AFM has more to say,” says de Waard.
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The British government is taking various measures to improve the business climate. According to De Ward, a lot has happened since the Tories ruled for fifteen years. The Conservative Party is perhaps the friendliest business party in the world. Corporate income tax has been reduced to nineteen percent and is therefore lower than in the Netherlands. In addition, there is no tax on dividends in the UK as there is in all EU countries.
“That, of course, is why Unilever and Shell are going to London,” de Ward says. In addition, no additional actions from the government are expected at the moment. The Conservative Party is in fierce competition with the Labor Party. The left is doing well in the polls, and the conservatives should do everything they can to stay in office.
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