The deputy governor of the Bank of England warned the government that a Brexit transition deal was required by Christmas in order to avoid a chaotic shift of operations to the European Union. 

Sam Woods emphasised the ticking clock on Brexit contingency plans, that City firms were likely to activate before the end of this year.

Speaking at the London’s Mansion House, Woods said: “If we get to Christmas and the negotiations have not reached any agreement on this topic, diminishing marginal returns will kick in,”

“The impact of this first phase of contingency planning on jobs will be relatively modest,” said Woods.

Brexit poses “material risks” to the Bank of England, but “we are well on the case in dealing with them,” he told the audience on Wednesday.

“Contingency planning is a sliding scale of increased commitment, investment and momentum through time. It much more prudent and prosaic than hovering over the relocate button or rushing to the exit door,”

Catherine McGuinness, who chairs the policy and resources committee at the City of London Corporation, also called on the UK government for a sense of urgency regarding Brexit after it’s tally of official announcements from City firms about moving operations to the EU.

Whilst Brexit negotiations have been underway, progress has seen to be limited.

EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, made the point that little progress would be made until unless the UK agreed to honour all its financial commitments. 

“The UK explained also that it was not in a position yet to identify its commitments taken during membership. For the EU, the only way to reach sufficient progress is that all commitments taken at 28 [member states] are honoured at 28,” he said, speaking in Brussels earlier this week.

“We have had a constructive week, yes, but we are not yet there in terms of achieving sufficient progress. Further work is needed in coming weeks and coming months,” he added.