Critical reviewThe geo-politics of Brexit, the euro and the City of London
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AbstractIn this review, we call for more engagement with the geo-political dimension of the finance economy that epitomises the 21st-century capitalist order within the European Union. Using the example of financial clearing and settlement, key processes in global trade and finance mechanisms in which London leads the world, we discuss the entangled political and economic dimensions in the shadow of Brexit to come, and its potential impact on the City’s complex financial ecosystem. The aim here is not to consult the crystal ball and predict London’s future as a financial centre. Yet, euro clearing is of geo-political relevance: if the UK leaves the EU, euro clearing would be taking place outside of the ECB’s regulatory space of intervention. This can become highly problematic, as the nominal euro sums involved in a major crisis are immense. We believe that these processes illustrate the pressing need to engage with finance’s geo-economics and geo-politics in more depth, both empirically and conceptually.

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