John Nelson issues Brexit warning in latest speech

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Insurance business will flow out of London if access to the single market is lost through Brexit, Lloyd’s chairman John Nelson has warned.

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) puts the ability of UK businesses to trade across the EU at risk, and as the exit negotiations have yet to start, it is likely to be unclear for some time whether access to the single market will be preserved.

Access is currently afforded through the passporting system, but many believe UK companies’ passporting rights will be lost as the EU grants them in return for free movement of people.

Speaking at the annual Lloyd’s city dinner last night, Nelson said that unless there was clarity about the future of passporting, business would leave London “more quickly than the renegotiation timetable”.

The Times quoted Nelson as saying at the dinner: “If we are not able to access the single market, either through passporting rights or other means, the inevitable consequences for Lloyd’s and indeed other insurance organisations will be that we will transact the business onshore in the EU, and that obviously will have an impact on London.”