Brexit for finance? Structural interdependence as a source of financial political power within UK-EU withdrawal negotiations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For most analysts, Brexit reveals the highly contingent power of finance and the clear limits to its ability to influence crucial policymaking outcomes. By contrast, I contend that UK-EU negotiations demonstrate the unique capacity of finance to secure substantial commercial protections relative to all other business sectors and that the structural sources of the City’s political power remain exceptionally robust. Elaborating a notion of ‘structural interdependence’, the paper demonstrates how policy officials on both sides came to perceive that the future prosperity and stability of their economies relied upon maintaining open trading relations in financial services. This necessitated broad continuity in access to London’s deep financial markets for EU firms and preservation of the City’s leading role in the UK growth regime. In establishing these claims empirically, I document an extensive range of contingency measures designed throughout December 2018-April 2019 that would function to protect the financial industry from economic disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The outcome illustrates how finance benefits from a form of structural power that does not require instrumental mobilisation, but rather shapes policy decisions on the basis of deeply entrenched and commercially vital cross-border financial entanglements.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of International Political Economy
Early online date6 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Brexit
  • City of London
  • European Union
  • financial political power
  • structural independence
  • structural power
  • United Kingdom

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Brexit for finance? Structural interdependence as a source of financial political power within UK-EU withdrawal negotiations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this