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I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
I should begin by paying tribute to my noble Friend Lord Bates for piloting the Bill through the other place so successfully. I am sure that the House will recognise the importance of supporting our financial services industry no matter what the outcome of negotiations on leaving the European Union. The UK’s position as a world-leading financial centre is critical to our prosperity. In 2017, the financial sector contributed £131 billion to the UK economy. It employs over 1 million people across the country, two thirds of whom are outside London, including in the thriving financial centres of Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester and Cardiff. UK exports of financial services were worth over £77 billion in 2017, which highlights the importance of the sector on the global stage.