Editor’s note: Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her plan to withdraw from the European Union. The plan would keep Britain in a free trade zone with the EU for certain goods, a move that proved unpopular even among some in her own party. Adding fuel to the fire, U.S. President Donald Trump told a British tabloid last week that the plan would kill any chance for a U.S.-U.K. trade deal. In light of the uncertainty over just how this issue will play out, we are republishing the following report, which was originally published in April 2018, to remind our readers why these negotiations are so critical for both Britain and the EU and how London became the financial hub it is today.
Were London a city-state, it would have the 20th-largest national economy in the world – larger than the national economies of Saudi Arabia, Argentina and South Africa. Were London a city-state, its national per capita gross domestic product would be greater than t