The chances of Britain ending up outside the single market when Brexit talks are concluded have receded somewhat after last week's election, according to a Reuters poll of economists. But, as Sonia Legg reports, finance firms in Britain say they are still pushing ahead with plans to move staff and operations to continental Europe.
Britain's election has caused political chaos - and the mist is showing little sign of lifting. Markets are desperate for some clearer skies And it seems some are hopeful. A Reuters poll of 49 economists showed two thirds now thought the chances of Britain ending up outside the single market had receded. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "It's more than likely that we are now going to go in the U.K. to the negotiating table with a slightly softer approach than we would have done before not least of which of course is because the British people have made their feelings very clear that a hard Brexit is not the way that they would like to see this negotiated." Even so finance firms aren't taking any chances. London's large global banks are pushing ahead with plans to move staff and operations to continental Europe. Around 9,000 jobs will be shifted over the next two years to financial centres, including Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin. The absence of a u-turn at this stage is no surprise to many working in the sector. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "As we start to get some sort of feedback from what's happening at the negotiating table it will be much easier to price in what kind of impact this might be having on the U.K. Unfortunately until such time as we get some detail in terms of some of the areas that are being discussed. It's the kind of speculation and of course uncertainty which the market particularly disliked." One safe bet is that there's likely to be more uncertainty in the near future. The Downing Street cat probably has as much idea as the visiting politicians about how the UK crisis will play out.