On 23 June 2016, the British population voted that the country should leave the European Union, with a small majority. Even though we very much regret this decision, we are determined to make the best of this outcome for the financial centres concerned and for Europe.
Now that the British population has decided to leave the EU, it is more important than ever to maintain a stable financial link to the United Kingdom. Financial centres across Europe might benefit from this. Frankfurt should secure the link between Europe's largest economy and London, the largest financial centre in the world.
Financial markets' response to the Brexit vote was clearly negative. This highlighted just how important a functioning and independent European market infrastructure is. And indeed, the market infrastructure worked flawlessly, both in London and in Frankfurt, where we bore the brunt of an extreme increase in trading volumes. We have thus fulfilled the core tasks of an exchange, on both sides of the English Channel: to safeguard the functioning, and hence the stability of financial markets.
But what exactly has changed since 23 June? Once the UK has formally declared its intention to exit the EU – which it intends to do, but has not done yet – there will be a two-year period during which the UK will negotiate an exit treaty with the EU, or agree to extend the negotiations. Until then, the United Kingdom will remain a full EU member. Hence, there will be no change to the existing legal framework for the time being.
We support the efforts, both in the United Kingdom and in the EU, to provide planning certainty as soon as possible. In fact, the best way of creating such planning certainty is to persevere with our project to build a capital markets bridge across the Channel. In this way, we will be able to counteract a part of the economic consequences a political decision of such magnitude will bring about.
For Germany, Europe's largest industrial nation, tying London closer to Frankfurt has become all the more important. To be triumphant about Britain's exit, to show it the "cold shoulder" and just let it go would be a strategic mistake. No doubt Frankfurt will benefit from impulses for growth: after all, it will remain in the euro area. Yet even with all the confidence that we rightly command as the centre of a unified, economically strong Europe, Frankfurt will only be successful in tandem with the financial centre in London.
On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union. The formal withdrawal process according to Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union needs to be triggered by the UK. Withdrawal negotiations between the UK and the European Council will start immediately after notification by the UK. If no agreement is reached, the Treaty will cease to apply to the withdrawing state two years after such notification.
Brexit: the highlighted parts of the value chain are affected