Rees-Mogg calls on accountants for post-Brexit work
Speaking to London Accountant ahead of his speech at the LSCA annual dinner on 21 June 2018, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP outlines his belief that there will be great opportunities for the profession, the City and London after the UK quits the EU.
Fresh from the first broadcast of Ring Rees-Mogg on talk radio station LBC, the Conservative MP for North East Somerset and member of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee is adamant that accountants will have a vital role to play as the government moves towards the final stages of Brexit.
“For the accountancy profession directly, the world we live in is increasingly complex. Accountants play a crucial role in helping people sort out their affairs, and this is likely to become more complex, so the outlook for accountants is particularly strong. But a greater degree of certainty is important”, Rees-Mogg explains.
“In terms of the broader City of London, Brexit is a considerable opportunity because the real threat to the City is not our leaving the EU but our remaining in the EU. If you look at the slew of regulation – AIFMD, MiFid II, Solvency II – and the affect this has had on financial services, you will see that the EU is not the friend of financial services. It has created a huge amount of cost and bureaucracy without any benefit to clients.
“In the first instance, EU law will be domesticated under the Withdrawal Bill, but the next stage will be how the laws are reformed, and here accountants are in a good position to explain which areas work, and which don’t. Explaining how these laws work will help government make better choices.”
As non-executive chairman of Somerset Capital Management, Rees-Mogg is well-placed to gauge the mood and confidence of the City, and he sees two distinct camps. He believes there are the more entrepreneurial businesses and individuals who sense many opportunities and are excited by the prospects of a post-Brexit financial centre, while there are those that are more conservative and are nervous about the future.
“The key is about judging uncertainty accurately. The City will be ready in March next year, and we should listen to what business is doing to get ready”, he says.
As for his own future, LBC host Nick Ferrari reminded him about the direction the political careers of his talk show predecessors Nick Clegg and Nigel Farrage have now taken, so is he hopeful that his career will follow a different, more positive path? “I’m very happy as I am, and I like the career I have got,” Ress-Mogg asserts. “My ambition is not personal, it is to see Brexit delivered, and delivered properly”.
Jacob Rees-Mogg will be guest speaker at the London Society of Chartered Accountants Annual Dinner on Thursday 21 June 2018 at Horse Guards, Whitehall. Find out more and book your place.
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