Held at Trinity House in the City of London, Hannan addressed Heritage’s clients from the alternative funds sector on why he feels the UK’s financial services industry would flourish outside of the EU. Hannan described an ongoing shift of financial power from the Atlantic to the Pacific in contrast to a steady decline in the EU’s contribution to global economic growth. He alluded to a change in attitude since the 2008 crash which has seen sentiment within the EU harden against the financial services industry, a reversal of the prevailing pre-crash mood which saw Europe adopting a more UK-type model. Hannan pointed out that since 2008, the UK had voted against 55 items of hardening legislation and had been defeated on every occasion.
By contrast, Hannan outlined the strength of countries such as Norway and Switzerland who continue to prosper outside of the EU. Closer to home, he reminded the audience how Guernsey’s economy has gone from being dominated by agriculture and tourism to a leading centre of finance, while maintaining a protocol three relationship with the European Economic Community.
Mark Huntley, Heritage’s chief executive officer, said, “With a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU looming, we thought our clients would find the views of one of the single market’s most outspoken critics provocative. Regardless of whether they were opposed to or in agreement with Daniel’s view, the questions from the floor suggested that our guests found his views stimulating. With offices in the UK, Malta and Guernsey, I would emphasise that at Heritage we remain entirely unpartisan in our views on whether the UK should remain in the EU but without doubt, this is likely to be one of the most fiercely discussed debates in modern political history.”