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Brussels campaigns to be new home for finance firms fleeing Brexit

The Brussels region has made a bid to attract UK-based financial services companies concerned about their post-Brexit fate.

Secretary of state for foreign trade at the region of Brussels, Cécile Jodogne, targeted a sales pitch to companies which need to work across EU borders: “Despite the UK and EU establishing in principle, a withdrawal agreement, there will still be plenty of room for uncertainty until the end of the transition period.

“Businesses operating in both in the UK and the EU need to prepare now for any eventuality, and as a priority ensure that they can continue to operate seamlessly across the UK and EU. The only way to guarantee this is to establish a base of operations within the EU and, as the Brexit deadline bears down upon us, businesses need to make a decision now on where to place these operations.”

In a statement to the press, the Brussels Capital Region says the area is optimal for many firms that would consider relocating, saying of Brussels: “The city has a vibrant financial and fintech ecosystem, with a wide range of banks, asset managers, brokerage firms, leasing companies and credit institutions.”

Jodogne adds: “Just two hours from London on the Eurostar, and well-connected to Europe and the rest of the world, Brussels is a prime location for British and any other businesses looking to maintain and grow their presence on the European and global stage.”

The statement form part of a campaign, backed by the Brussels’ regional government, regional trade associations and industry bodies, which has been launched to attract businesses thinking of leaving the UK.

The campaign involves a series of events, starting on 4 December, will be held at the Belgian Embassy in London over the next few months.

The UK’s withdrawal agreement which lays out the terms on which it will leave the EU was approved by EU member states on Sunday and will be voted on in the House of Commons on 11 December.

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