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The Insurance Insider
May 2016
Lloyd’s chairman John Nelson has labelled politicians campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union as “irresponsible” in a strongly worded statement issued earlier today (17 May).

Nelson said he felt compelled to respond to some of the claims being made by the “leave” campaign about the potential consequences of a “Brexit”.

“It is irresponsible of politicians to pretend that the benefits of a single market can be replicated outside of the EU,” he said.

“In our case, if we were to leave the EU we would have no right of access to the EU markets without signing up to EU regulations and indeed incurring the financial consequences of contributions to the EU – as happens to other countries within Europe who are outside the EU.”

Nelson added that it was unrealistic to expect the UK to be able to put itself in the same position as the countries already under an EU bilateral agreement when negotiating trade deals.

“Many of these assertions are being made by those who have little up-to-date working knowledge of trade relationships and agreements – something which our team at Lloyd’s are involved in globally, every day of the week,” he said.

Nelson added that no regulatory “nirvana” would be achieved by exiting the EU, as there would be no less regulation.

Last week, Fidelis CEO Richard Brindle warned of the sclerotic effect a Brexit would have on the ability of companies such as his to trade, and of the added bureaucracy of dealing with 26 different regulators.

“I think it’s highly likely that if we were starting a business post a Brexit vote we would have established an office in London to access the brokers, but we would probably be headquartered elsewhere in the EU,” he told this publication.

The International Underwriting Association has also issued a stark warning against the UK voting to leave.

Tomorrow (18 May), Matt Hancock, minister for the UK Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, will discuss the issues surrounding a potential UK exit with (re)insurance professionals at The Insurance Insider’s EU referendum ministerial debate at the Willis Auditorium, 51 Lime Street, London.

The event, which is free to attend, provides an opportunity for participants to give their views directly to a senior government minster on a decision that affects the entire London insurance market and the wider nation.

Those wishing to attend can register for free here:

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/events/insurance-insider-eu-referendum-ministerial-debate

Registration opens at 8:15am for a 9am start, and the event is scheduled to finish at 10am.