Goldman boss tweets support for new Brexit vote

Lloyd Blankfein's company employs 6,000 people in the UK

By James Sillars, Business Reporter

The boss of US investment bank Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, has used his latest Twitter post on Brexit to suggest a second referendum is held.

He wrote: "Here in UK, lots of hand-wringing from CEOs over #Brexit. Better sense of the tough and risky road ahead. Reluctant to say, but many wish for a confirming vote on a decision so monumental and irreversible. So much at stake, why not make sure consensus still there?".

The remarks marked his third intervention in the debate around the effects of the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Goldman is currently mulling shifting staff to Germany's main financial centre, Frankfurt.

Goldman Sachs, which currently employs 6,000 people in the UK, has leased office space in the city – home of the European Central Bank – to house up to 1,000 workers.

A month ago he told his Twitter followers: "Just left Frankfurt. Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I'll be spending a lot more time there. #Brexit."

He later tweeted a picture of the bank's new European HQ being built in London saying he was "expecting/hoping to fill it up".

In London. GS still investing in our big new Euro headquarters here. Expecting/hoping to fill it up, but so much outside our control.#Brexit

— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) October 30, 2017

His latest comments are likely to be seen as the most directly political yet as the leaders of business groups from across the EU lobby the UK government on the need for trade talks to begin with Brussels.

Companies, especially those in the financial services sector, argue certainty on the UK's future trading relationship with the EU is required urgently.

The lobby groups warned Theresa May at a Downing Street meeting this week that unless there was the basis for a so-called transition deal by Christmas then more firms would be forced to put in action irreversible contingency plans that could see jobs leave London.

As we leave the EU, we must do all we can to ensure that UK and EU businesses continue to thrive side-by-side. That’s why it was so important to speak to European business leaders in Downing Street this morning:

— Theresa May (@theresa_may) November 13, 2017

JPMorgan is among the US banks to confirm it has already acted to ensure its operations within the EU are not affected by the looming divorce.

It is currently understood to be informing UK staff about a relocation programme involving hundreds of workers – with most going to Dublin.

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