London workers are already beginning the Brexit exodus say businesses

Friday 21 July 2017

London workers are already beginning the Brexit exodus say businesses

A third of businesses with EU staff (31%) have lost employees as a result of Brexit according to a shocking new survey revealed today.

The figure was even higher (40%) among larger businesses - those with ten or more employees.

Across all larger business surveyed 15% said more than 10 per cent of their EU staff had already left the country.

The alarming findings were uncovered as part of a survey undertaken by ComRes, for London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), of more than 500 businesses across the capital, carried out by polling consultancy

Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said: "These are very worrying results, but not altogether unsurprising.

"We know that businesses are worried by the uncertainty that the referendum result has brought and we know that London is hugely reliant on non-UK workers.

"It is almost inevitable then that, some of these workers have decided to leave the UK while they feel they still have the choice to make.

"It is also more imperative than ever that the Government addresses this issue head on and gives EU nationals living and working in London a cast iron guarantee that they will have the right to remain."

A previous study, commissioned by LCCI, noted that over 771,000 EU nationals are currently employed in a range of sectors such as construction (30% of the London workforce), hospitality and distribution (20% of London workforce) banking and finance (14% of London workforce).

In a post-Brexit setting if these nationals had to seek to work under existing Tier 2 immigration visa rules, London would lose 160,000 workers, face a £7bn negative impact on economic output and miss an estimated £2bn direct tax contributions by 2020 as many EU nationals would likely not meet the recently amended requirements on salary thresholds.

As a result of these findings, LCCI has recommended the Government introduces a one-off London Visa for EU nationals already working here, Capital Work Permits for future post-Brexit migration and a dedicated Shortage Occupation List for London to identify the sectors most in need of staff.


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Katharine McGee
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1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and 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. ComRes surveyed 530 London business leaders between 23 May and 19 June 2017.
Data was weighted to be representative of all London businesses by company size and broad industry sector. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council