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.’