‘London needs a visa system of its own when Britain exits the European Union.’ That’s the view of Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce. London Mayor, Sadiq Khan is keen to keep London as the top financial centre in Europe; Stanbridge has called on him to introduce a visa system exclusively for London. Stanbridge said: “It is crucial to the future of the London economy that the capital continues to have a flow of migrant workers to help our capital thrive. Without them, success cannot be guaranteed, without their work and efforts our city would slowly grind to a halt.”
Stanbridge has urged Khan to partner up with his Business Advisory Council to establish a London visa that would permit skilled workers from European Union member states to remain in England’s capital.He said: “This will provide a collective body that could guarantee a third-party sponsorship route for registered sector-specific firms with recognised skills deficiencies.”
Job loss fears in the City of London
The call from Stanbridge comes amid fears of potential job losses in the City and in other parts of London. According to business experts, more than 40,000 jobs roles could be stripped from the capital’s financial services sector and relocated to Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris. It’s estimated that around 920,000 people work in financial and business services across London.
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan said: “The loss of passporting rights would be ‘a disaster.’ I’ll be pushing the Treasury to make sure passporting is top of their priority list, which is why I will be seeking a conversation with the Chancellor as soon as possible.”
Khan has already consulted Bank of England governor Mark Carney about how the City can protect its status as a top financial centre. He also wants to clarify the status of the more than 850,000 EU citizens who live and work in London. The Mayor said: “We will also need future answers on visas if we are to support companies locating in London.”
While no banks have yet confirmed the number of jobs likely to move from London, one leading City figure indicated that many could depart for Edinburgh should Scotland decide to separate from the UK and remain inside the EU, saying: “Edinburgh could be a big beneficiary.”