Theresa May looks for Brexit advice on Wall Street

The British PM on a charm offensive as she meets New York's financial muscle...

Theresa May looks for Brexit advice on Wall Street

British Prime Minister Theresa May talks to media with U.S. President Barack Obama after their bilateral meeting in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province. Image: Carolyn Kaster / AP/Press Association Images

British Prime Minister Theresa May met with the chief executives from leading Wall Street banks on Monday to seek counsel on how best to approach Brexit in a way that doesn't damage their UK interests.

According to the Financial Times, May held two gatherings in New York. First up was a roundtable discussion with the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, IBM and Amazon – all organisations that invest heavily in the UK.
Following that she held a reception for roughly 60 top US executives, with the event also hosting British businesses who have invested across the Atlantic.

She was accompanied on her first trip to engage with big US business by her foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.  It was primarily a "listening exercise" for the pair, as they attempt to get Britain's priorities in order before Brexit becomes a reality.

May had said she intended to talk "about how we can encourage trade and investment" between the two nations, including "talking to them and hearing from them about what the issues are that they want us to address" in negotiations.

It would, according to May's spokesperson, "give them the chance to talk about their concerns".

Doing just that were the likes of Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher, Goldman Sachs CFO Harvey Schwartz and JP Morgan Chase CEO Daniel Pinto.

The sector is said to be keen to maintain the "passporting" rights that allow them to use London as an access point to the single European market.

May is expected to trigger Article 50, which will officially start Brexit negotiations, in early 2017.

The British PM is in the US predominantly to attend the UN General Assembly, and was scheduled to announce initiatives to combat human trafficking and slavery today.