Dismore raises the need for post Brexit ‘London Visa’
At Mayor’s Question Time today, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore AM asked the Mayor what progress was being made on post Brexit ‘London Visa’ arrangements, to respond to the potential crisis to London’s economy if EU ‘talent’ cannot come to or stay in the capital. (Video here)
Mr Dismore said:
‘I am pleased to see that at last the Government has agreed to meet with the Mayor monthly to discuss the impact of Brexit on London. However, David Davis, the Brexit Secretary of State, has ruled out a separate deal for London and the City.
‘The Government have also said they want net UK migration to be in the tens of thousands, including university students who are a pretty soft target, and who most people don’t see as migrants anyway.
‘Yet EU nationals contribute more than £26bn to London’s Gross Value Added (GVA) and £7bn in taxes and with over 770,000 EU workers in London at all levels, – 15% of the workforce – from the highly skilled to those who do the work that keeps the city going, through to care workers, NHS cleaners and those in the hospitality industry, making our coffee on the way to work, if the Government don’t see sense how else can we fill all these jobs and what would be the impact on London’s economy if we can’t?
‘In the last couple of weeks, both the City Corporation and London Chamber of Commerce have produced proposals for a nuanced immigration system which would enable post-Brexit London to continue to attract the talent the capital needs to keep our economy going, and of course thus enable us to continue to subsidise the rest of the country.
‘A quarter of London businesses are concerned about how the unclear future immigration status of their EU staff is causing uncertainty for their prospects, especially as we are already seeing Paris, Dublin and Berlin attempting to seduce away London’s talent to their cities.
‘The Mayor has correctly and repeatedly said to our fellow Londoner EU citizens that they are welcome here, but we must give them the concrete and substantive reassurances about their future that they need and have a right to expect, when the Government has still failed to make up its mind what to do, months on after the referendum.’