Canary Wharf could become post-Brexit ‘cash laun…

03/08/20

As posted on eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk, Monday August 3, 2020.

The major financial areas in Canary Wharf and the city are at risk of becoming centers for “dirty money” laundered by terrorism and international crime. This could be a "race to the bottom" when the Brexit transition ends.

This is the warning of an academic at Queen Mary University towards East London and the Square Mile.

A report from Dr. Anna Damaskou from Queen Mary and Dr. Angelos Kaskanis of the Greek Democritus University suggests that the reduction in regulations and the “addiction to foreign money” could also generate income from criminal or even terrorist activities.

"There are concerns that Brexit will make London a center for money laundering," emphasizes Dr. Damaskou.

"From today's perspective, the Boris Johnson government has signaled that Britain should be completely free to set its own rules, so Britain will be unrelated to the EU after the transition ends on December 31, unless an agreement is reached."

Dr. Damaskou fears a “race to the bottom” with financial deregulation and inadequate handling of countries outside Europe, especially tax havens such as Dubai.

The Tactics Institute for Security and Counter-Terrorism report, published by the team Britannia consultancy in Shoreditch, praised current British regulations as "the most mature in Europe".

However, it is predicted that there may be money laundering by rogue Gulf states and small EU countries that do not apply British standards or are unable to monitor strict regulations.

After the Brexit, Great Britain could go the way of some Gulf states, the authors fear. These states "lack transparency and control" in times of rapid economic growth, booming real estate market and free ports, which create a safe haven for washing proceeds from illegal arms sales, drug smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism.

London's importance as one of the world's leading financial centers "must continue to work with the rest of the EU," says the Tactical Institute.

A wave of deregulation that will boost Britain's economic growth in the short term is "a superficially attractive prospect", but it could open the way for money laundering through drug use, modern smuggling and global terrorism such as Isis and Al Quaida.



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