Edinburgh, like all UK cities, is facing potential challenges from Brexit. Everything from immigration to trade and manufacturing, foreign investment to the property market could be adversely affected. But this is a confident city with lots going for it. Did you know that Edinburgh has Britain’s most educated workforce? With over 55% of employees educated to degree level, even after Brexit businesses should be queuing up to operate here. This is particularly true of the financial services sector.
The importance of Edinburgh’s financial services sector to the city is in little doubt. The industry provides £5bn in gross added value to the city’s economy and employs 50,000 people. Some experts say that the diversity of Edinburgh’s financial services will help it weather the negative effects of Brexit.
So what are these negative effects? They chiefly include the loss of influence over the single market’s rules and the loss of passporting. Passporting rights essentially allow British-based institutions to sell into the rest of the EU without having a branch there. But in Edinburgh’s case, the loss of passporting may not be such a sticking point due to its focus (unlike London) on domestic matters.
Many people are also worried that UK cities will lose valuable talent to European cities. But Edinburgh is an attractive place for workers in any industry, not just the financial services sector – its cultural lure is undeniable. This is a city with great universities, a vibrant bar and restaurant scene, beautiful green spaces and proximity to stunning countryside (not to mention golf courses). Property prices too are very attractive compared to, say, London or Paris. The average selling price for a property in Edinburgh is around £250,000 – in London it is £650,000.
We are confident that Scotland’s capital can withstand the potential negative effects of Brexit.