Thursday 11 May 2017
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London Chamber sets out its manifesto priorities for Brexit and 'megacity' London
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has today published its London Business Manifesto "Capital Matters" setting out its key asks for the next Government to ensure that London continues to maintain its status as a globally competitive city.
LCCI believes it is vital that as the next Government negotiates the exit from the EU it prioritises the London workforce, both current and future and commits to long and short term infrastructure investment.
This includes guaranteeing the status of EU nationals, committing to major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail 2, introducing a new "T Level" in construction and digital skills and fundamentally reviewing business rates.
Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said: "London's success cannot be taken for granted. Alongside rising cost pressures for many London businesses, the city's growing population is putting the capital's critical economic infrastructure under unprecedented pressure.
"Maintaining the capital's competitiveness now and into the future will require a Brexit that works for London's businesses, large and small. But most important as negotiations with our European partners get underway will be bold steps to tackle the capital's urgent, current domestic priorities.
"Steps must be taken during the next parliament to strengthen the capital's economic foundations and, by doing so, its ability to thrive in a post-Brexit world."
LCCI has compiled Capital Matters as a result of recent polling and research on numerous issues affecting businesses of all sizes across the capital.
As a result of these results and feedback from member, LCCI is calling for the next Government to limit uncertainty and maximize opportunity by making four key commitments. These are to:
Deliver a Brexit that works for London by:
- Securing a realistic transitional period for Brexit to enable businesses to adjust to new circumstances and prioritise minimising costly tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.
- Granting indefinite leave to remain for existing EU national employees within the capital to reassure them and their employers.
- Establishing a separate 'Shortage Occupation List' for London (like Scotland has) and create a 'Capital Work Permits' system to meet employers' future labour needs.
- Prioritising the preservation of aviation and maritime arrangements with the EU to secure swift market access and maintain London's status as a global hub.
Provide Infrastructure to underpin a 'megacity' by:
- Securing Parliamentary time for a hybrid bill to designate Crossrail 2 as major infrastructure of national importance and commence development works
- Auditing and mapping disused or poor quality land within the Metropolitan green belt to identify 'brownspace' plots of land where small developers can bring forward new housing.
- Boosting short-term airport capacity through airfield, terminal and rail-link enhancements and future-proof the UK economy by enabling a new runway at Gatwick, after Heathrow.
- Permitting Transport for London (TfL) to seek responsibility for commuter rail services into London as each mainline franchise comes up for renewal
Equip tomorrow's skilled workforce by:
- Guaranteeing high-quality work placements for students pursuing a technical route so that young Londoners are equipped to be the skilled employees of tomorrow.
- Improving collaboration with businesses on apprenticeships to overcome hurdles to implementation and enable Levy paying firms to transfer a greater percentage of their funds to their supply chain businesses.
- Prioritising new 'T-Levels' in Construction and Digital areas to help meet the demands of the UK industry and support young people into long-term sector careers.
- Developing a Massive Open Online Course to support smaller businesses develop an effective online presence and active social media engagement.
Create a business environment conducive to growth by:
- Facilitate greater devolution for London focused on London Finance Commission proposals to help the capital fund future skills and infrastructure needs.
- Undertake a fundamental review of business rates to ensure the tax remains fit for purpose in today's digital age, and give London government greater flexibility over rates administration.
- Review the impact of office-to-residential permitted development rights within the capital and explore how to safeguard essential office and commercial space.
- Encourage greater SME take-up of exporting opportunities through raising awareness of departmental support services and arranging more trade missions and to potential new international markets.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
1. LCCI is the capital's most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
2. Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive is available for further comment and interview.
3. More information on each of the priority areas is available by contacting the media office on the contact details above.
4. For a full copy of Capital Matters click here