Stephen Paduano (for foreignpolicy.com) notes that it is not just that UK manufacturing and finance businesses are preparing to leave the UK within weeks, but how adept other European countries are at wooing them.
Only a few days after Airbus announced it may be leaving Britain, the country’s top diplomat delivered one of his more undiplomatic remarks: “F*** business,” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said. That was four months ago, in the heat of Brexit’s uncertain summer - a day before Amazon’s U.K. chief warned of “civil unrest,” two weeks before Johnson resigned in protest, and a month before the European Union rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s preliminary proposal.
Leading the exodus of jobs and cash are London’s many investment banks and asset management funds, such as those above, which are expected to send 10,000 jobs and billions of dollars in annual tax revenue overseas. Not far behind the financial services sector is the manufacturing sector. The technology industry, too, is feeling the pain of Brexit, as founders leave a United Kingdom that has lost its grip on foreign talent and capital. Perhaps the most disconcerting of all is the potential damage to the food services industry, whose farms and processing plants - largely of dairy, eggs, fish, and cereals - rely on a 40 percent EU-born workforce.
But Britain’s job losses are not just about Brexit. While the decision to leave the single market, resurrect tariffs with trade partners, and boot foreign workers has certainly left the U.K. a less desirable place to do business, much of the movement out of the U.K. has been a matter of pro-business reform and repositioning by EU competitors. The biggest winners of Brexit - Dublin, Frankfurt, and Paris - have proved to be at least as effective at pulling business in as the Brexiteers have been at pushing business out.