Post-referendum, everyone is attempting to predict who will lead negotiations with the EU. One of the frontrunners is Conservative MP and Minister of Justice Michael Gove, but as Baroness Bowles said: "Gove doesn’t strike me as someone who understands financial services." Patrick Brusnahan writes
At the British Banking Association’s (BBA) annual retail banking conference, Baroness Bowles addressed concerns regarding Brexit. As Gove was disregarded as a formative candidate for negotiations, so was Conservative MP Boris Johnson. Bowles described that possibility as ‘the blonde leading the blind’.
Since the conference, Boris Johnson has withdrawn from the Conservative leadership election having campaigned for the Leave campaign for months.
Summing up the referendum campaigns, Bowles concluded that if the lies, such as £350m dedicated to the NHS upon leaving the EU, had been made in a business deal, the perpetrators ‘would be up in court’.
Bowles also highlighted the importance of being in, or having access to, the single market, but that will come with ‘conditions attached’. For example, it would be difficult to get the same deal the UK has now regarding passporting. However, she reiterated that ‘once we lose the single market, our defence goes’.
Former MEP Bowles also stated that free movement is entwined with the free market: "This is enshrined in the original treaties and they are not going to shift."
Another side-effect of leaving the single market could be that up to 100,000 banking jobs would be put at risk, but Bowles quipped: "If you told people in Newcastle that 100,000 bankers would lose their jobs, they’d probably be happy."