Dismore questions Mayor over EU nationals post Brexit

At today’s Mayor’s Question Time, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore AM questioned Mayor Sadiq Khan over the Government’s recent hostile announcements towards EU nationals in the UK and the impact on London businesses.


Mr Dismore asked:

‘With less than five months to go until the date the UK is due to leave the EU, is it fair, according to Caroline Nokes MP, the immigration minister at  the Home Affairs Select Committee last month, that the Government are expecting London’s businesses to check whether EU citizens have a right to work here in the event of a no-deal Brexit, without giving them the details of how this will work, especially bearing in mind that Ms Noakes herself did not know how it would work?

‘A few days ago in her speech to the CBI, Theresa May yet again peddled her nasty rhetoric about EU citizens “jumping the queue”. Bearing in mind the 43% decrease in people migrating here looking for work over the last year, and in the 12 months after the Brexit vote the 9 per cent increase in people leaving and 12 per cent drop in migrants coming in, isn’t the real risk, not ‘queue jumping’ but not enough people in the queue in the first place, so as to fill key vacancies in the NHS and care, as well as  other sectors of London’s economy, such as construction, retail and hospitality?’

The Mayor said that:

Anyone who saw her evidence would be astonished at her lack of grip. They are subcontracting to employers and landlords Border Agency officers’ work. This isn’t the job of employers. He was worried for small businesses who fear the consequences. There should be a minimum of red tape. This has a chilling effect, making employers nervous to take on anyone with an accent.

Absolutely anyone who speaks to people involved in these sectors hear about their inability to fill current vacancies. There is a reduction in EU citizens coming, and the idea of “queue jumping” is not just offensive but does not reflect the true picture. The idea of pitting EU software engineers against people from India or Australia more than ever emphasises the need to send out the “London is Open” message.