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City of London hunts for Brussels ambassador

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The City of London Corporation is seeking to recruit a Brussels-based ambassador for the first time in a bid to step up its presence in the EU.

According to Sky News the City body has approached candidates including former government ministers, with an appointee expected to serve a three-year term. The organisation is said to have set aside an annual budget of roughly £500,000.

Money Marketing understands City officials are hoping to make an announcement “in the next few weeks”.

A spokesman for the City of London Corporation declined to comment.

The City of London Corporation has had an office in Brussels since 2004. The appointment of an ambassador would come as the UK seeks to reform its membership of the EU ahead of a referendum on its participation.

Although a date has yet to be set for the vote, Prime Minister David Cameron has committed to holding a referendum by the end of 2017, while some have speculated it could take place as early as next year.

Last month, the UK’s financial services lobbying group TheCityUK outlined its demands for EU reform ahead of a vote, calling for a single market in capital, digital and financial services, better regulation and a European agenda for jobs and growth.

Announcing the proposals at the end of June, TheCityUK and Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone said: “TheCityUK’s proposals for EU reform focus on areas where the financial and related professional services industry has particular expertise.

“They will bring benefit not only to the industry, but to the whole of the EU by enabling it to better provide the investment for jobs and growth that Europe needs. We look forward to developing the recommendations put forward in this report and strengthening our alliances across other Member States to deliver a better, more competitive EU.”

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