The suggestion that some British cities should have their own visa systems post Brexit has been discussed ever since the Brexit vote in June this year. This has now taken a new turn with the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry having called for a new visa initiative for the capital which would protect immigration to London.
59% of Londoner’s voted to stay in the European Union and many in the city have been concerned over immigration restrictions post Brexit. The new proposals suggest that any employers in London would be allowed to sponsor skilled foreign workers. The workers would be given specific tax reference and national insurance numbers that would not allow them to work in any other parts of the UK. There are currently over 770,000 EU nationals living in the capital who should be eligible for a visa to ensure their future in London, the chamber of commerce said. This makes up a staggering 15% of all London workers that may not be eligible to work in the city following a leave from the European Union. Understandable businesses are nervous over the loss of such a huge workforce and the Chamber of Commerce are working hard to reassure national and international business. It was also noted that EU national contribute over £26bn to Gross Value Added and pay taxes of over £7bn per years. It is easy to see why Londoner’s are concerned over the future.
The departure of such a huge section of the workforce “would be economically harmful, impacting on various key industries and putting pressure on public funds”, the chamber’s research suggests.
It is hoped that getting the details on the table will at least allay the fears of some international firms based in London that are concerned over the potential lack of skilled workforce over the coming years.