'Give London control over post-Brexit immigration' – poll

The UK government's post-Brexit immigration policy must include practical proposals to keep London globally competitive by allowing the capital access to the overseas skills it needs, according to a new poll.

'Give London control over post-Brexit immigration' – poll
A poll, conducted by ComRes among more than 1,000 Londoners plus 517 business leaders and 154 councillors, has found the majority in favour of giving the capital more control over the immigration of international workers and for making it easier for EU27 nationals with a job offer to move to the UK.

Skills of foreign workers 'vital'

Part of the London Tomorrow initiative organised by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), City Airport and PwC, the survey also found a majority felt international students had a positive impact on the capital while the skills brought by foreign workers were considered vital to London's economy.
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Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of LCCI, said, "Immigration has underpinned London’s economic, social and cultural development over centuries, making it the great city it is today. Economic research that LCCI commissioned found non-UK nationals form a quarter of the London workforce, compared to one-eighth for the rest of the UK."And yet, despite this, the recent MAC (Migration Advisory Committee) report on EEA migration did not recognise London’s unique immigration footprint. Moving towards a post-Brexit horizon it is essential that practical proposals to renew and refresh the UK immigration system are considered to keep London globally competitive”.

Businesses not prepared for post-Brexit immigration changes

Julia Onslow-Cole, global head of immigration at PwC, added, “Many businesses are not ready for an abrupt change in immigration policy on lower skilled workers. Certain sectors like construction, retail and hospitality, rely on migrant labour and are understandably concerned about the future landscape. Some businesses believe it will take them 5-10 years to be fully prepared for the changes.”Alison FitzGerald, chief operating officer of London City Airport, commented, “Whether it’s housing, 5G or airports, new infrastructure – physical and hidden – will shape the city that London becomes in the next decade.“That’s why we need the ability to attract international talent with skills that supplement UK and home-grown expertise. London has always thrived from being a global city and as it continues to grow, arriving talent will help us build an incredible future.”

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The survey found that 94 per cent of councillors, 63 per cent of business leaders and two-thirds of the general public believed immigration had benefited London's economy. Similar majorities considered the arrival of overseas workers had benefited the NHS and business innovation.A majority also felt that new immigration system that reduced the number of arrivals in the capital would have a detrimental impact on health services, the economy and 'London's attractiveness as a place to work'.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory