Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled against Prime Minister Theresa May stating that she does not have sufficient authority to enact Brexit alone, upholding a High Court decision that ruled it unconstitutional for Ms May to formally trigger Article 50 without first consulting MPs.
According to Attorney General Jeremy Wright, who gave a statement after the Supreme Court Brexit ruling, he said that the Government was ‘disappointed’ by the decision to hand over power to Parliament in what many consider an historic battle, by a majority of eight to three.
However, in a report from the Independent, he said that:
The Government will comply with the judgement of the court and do all that is necessary to implement it.
It remains to be seen, however, what will happen if MPs decide to vote against the bill as much of the law focused around Brexit remains untested. Yet, there are some saying that she will have to quit as PM within two years because of the economic consequences of leaving the EU.
In a report from the Guardian, Charlie Mullins, founder of the London-based company Pimlico Plumbers and a Tory donor, stated that senior Tories had isolated themselves from Conservative businesspeople and that Ms May wouldn’t be around once the EU negotiations begin.
When she goes, the damage will have been done and it’s going to take a long, long time to get back to where we are today. People in business just cannot believe that she is cutting us off from a market of 500 million people.
London’s Lead Threatened
And yet, despite the Brexit referendum, which took place on June 23 of last year, London remains the lead FinTech hub; however, its position has sorely been threatened at the news with various exit plans in place.
In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, France’s market regulator announced that leading banks in London were in the advanced stages of moving their operations to Paris. While banks are already threatening to move British jobs overseas if the nation’s Treasury fails to slow the country’s exit from the EU.
Yet, with the value of the British pound plummeting to a 31-year low after Ms May set a Brexit start date in October last year, it’s not surprising that many U.K. firms are thinking about moving abroad. Not only that, but add the fact that Ms May is pursuing a ‘hard’ Brexit, removing the U.K. from the single market, and it appears London’s lead as a FinTech hub is slowly coming to an end.
Of course, with the traditional British stiff upper lip and an attitude of getting a job done, the nation is not going to give the top spot away easily.
FinTech Investment in London
So much so, that in the last few months the FinTech sector has been boosted by the technology and regulators at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In 2014, the FCA launched its Project Innovate in a bid to provide businesses advice and guidance on the regulations regarding blockchain that they are required to abide by.
After considering approving a number of blockchain companies, last year it announced the first 24 companies that would be taking part in its regulatory sandbox, helping to bring ideas quicker to the market and facilitating the necessary funds to be raised by British FinTech firms, thus aiming to keep London at the top spot within the sector.
However, with venture capital funding dropping from $580 million in 2015 to $386 million in 2016 since the Brexit vote, the country is feeling the pressure post-Brexit. Despite this, though, the nation is still able to raise funds and retain its competitive edge within the marketplace. Not only that, but it was only recently reported by Politico, that Ms May is set to announce funding for U.K. technology growth with the intention of taking the lead in smart energy technology, robotics and artificial intelligence in addition to biotech and quantum technology.
Challenges may be facing the country in the wake of the Brexit vote and once it leaves the EU, but that doesn’t mean it’s giving up its fight to serve as the FinTech capital just yet.
Featured image from Shutterstock.