City chief warns Boris Johnson: no-deal Brexit could take us 'from a joke to a nightmare'

PUBLISHED: 10:14 22 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:14 22 July 2019

The political leader of the City of London has warned that a no-deal Brexit could take us from 'a joke to a nightmare'. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

The political leader of the City of London has warned that a no-deal Brexit could take us from 'a joke to a nightmare'. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

The political leader of London's financial district has said a no-deal Brexit will would be a serious hit to the economy, and that Boris Johnson needs to rebuild trust with the City if he becomes prime minister.

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The chair of the corporation's policy and resources committee Catherine McGuinness said she was worries that Brexit is taking us "from a joke to a nightmare".

Tory leadership frontrunner Johnson has said he is prepared to leave the EU without a deal. As foreign secretary, when asked by EU diplomats about industry concerns about a hard Brexit, he is reported to have said: "Fuck business".

Speaking to the Press Association, McGuinness said: "Boris will have bridges to build with business. I believe from our experience in the past that, actually, he is quite business minded, but we need to see that in practice after what he said."

McGuinness, who worked with Johnson during his stretch as Mayor of London, added: "I'm very concerned that we're moving from a joke to a nightmare. From April 1 to Halloween. I am very concerned that the possibility of no deal is increasing, it looks more likely than not at the moment.

"I think warm words are not enough. We really are at a critical moment for our economy, for our country.

"We absolutely will try to be as positive as possible about what we can build on. We need to build on those strengths for the future and we're ready to do that with Boris but he needs to be practical and pragmatic."

The City of London, home to some of the biggest financial institutions in the UK, generates around £75 billion a year in taxes.

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