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May to discuss Brexit fears with finance industry leaders

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and senior officials will meet executives from major finance companies today to give them a clearer idea of what Britain’s European Union exit will mean for them.

There are concerns that Brexit threatens London’s status as the financial capital of Europe and that banks are preparing to move thousands of jobs to preserve access to the single market.

A stand-off between Britain and the EU over the future access to single market for London’s vast financial services industry is shaping up to be one of the key Brexit battlegrounds before Britain is due to leave the bloc in March 2019.

Britain and the EU will soon begin the much harder task of defining their future trading relationship, after settling the broad terms of their divorce settlement last month. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said there will be no special deal for one of Britain’s most important industries, which accounts for more than 10pc of the economy.

But British officials are confident the EU will be flexible, partly because they say European countries risk damaging their own economies if they are cut off from London’s markets.

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