David Fuller's view -
Prime Minister Theresa May is to go on a charm offensive with US banks, holding a summit with some of the biggest institutions in a bid to reassure them over potential repercussions of Britain's vote to leave the EU.
Wall Street heavyweights invited to attend the special summit later today include JP Morgan Chase investment banking chief executive Daniel Pinto, Blackrock chief executive Larry Fink, Goldman Sachs chief financial officer Harvey Schwartz and Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher.
It is understood that the American executives want assurances that the rights of their employees based in Britain will be protected once the UK leaves the EU.
The prime minister, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York, has sought to meet them amid concerns that they could be preparing to move their European headquarters out of the UK in the wake of the Brexit vote.
She has also invited the likes of technology behemoths Amazon and IBM, as well as bosses from engineering firms Aecom and United Technologies, and Sony Pictures. Several of these firms are currently engaged in large inward investment into the UK.
The meeting will represent the government's first major interaction with US investors since May came to office earlier this summer.
As well as seeking to reassure the Wall Street giants, May is holding a trade and investment event where she is hoping to encourage around 60 “current and expanding” firms to boost their investment in the UK.
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson is also expected to hold a meeting with business representatives on Wednesday.
Tonight, May also addressed the United Nations General Assembly, where she sought to build a global consensus on measures to tackle human trafficking, as well as entering talks on migration where she defended the right to limit the movement of people.
"We need to be clear that all countries have the right to control their borders and protect their citizens and be equally clear that countries have a duty to manage their borders to reduce onward flows of illegal and uncontrolled migration," May said.
This is very positive, essential work by the PM, not least as only she can really speak for Britain today. I am sure she will be effective.
Theresa May also has the intelligence and strength of character to negotiate effectively with the EU. Unlike her predecessor, the message will not be a version of: I want to stay in the EU but please give me some concessions so that I can gain support at home.
Instead, I think she will make it very clear that Britain will accept nothing less than favourable terms for Brexit, which will also be in the EU’s interests. This will only be considered if Angela Merkel understands that the UK is prepared to walk away from the European single market, without further negotiations or delay.
Behind Europe’s angry bluster, the reality is that the EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU. Mrs Merkel will lose further political support if German businesses find that they have to renegotiate trade terms with a UK that has already withdrawn from the EU. Nevertheless, she may decide to accept this risk, if only for the sake of consistency, knowing that she is near the end of her career.
The biggest risk for the UK, including the Conservative Party, would be the unproductive masochism of a tortuous and expensive multi-year negotiation, with a destructive organisation determined to deter others from abandoning its sinking ship.
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