Wednesday 19 December 2018
Responding to the publication of the White Paper, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Colin Stanbridge, said:
“It is welcome that Ministers have seen sense and will now consult on their proposed £30,000 salary threshold – however, we can tell them already that such a figure would be damaging not just to the London economy, but to the UK economy as a whole - as workers of all skills levels are needed in every sector. Especially in sectors that play such a key role in the wellbeing of our society, such as the NHS, other care professions, and in our schools.
The capital has a unique immigration footprint and is far more dependent on an international workforce than the rest of the UK. Economic research we commissioned found non-UK nationals form a quarter of the London workforce, compared to one eighth for the rest of the UK.
Londoners recognise the positive impact immigration has had on London’s economy over the last five and ten years and support making it easy for EU nationals with a job offer to move to the UK for work after Brexit. But migrants from all parts of the world, of course, don’t just play an economic role – over decades they have played a fundamental role in making London the multi-cultural and vibrant city that it is. We have communities in our capital from all over the globe and those communities in their own right are also economic drivers for visitors to come and enjoy what London has to offer.
To remain globally competitive City Hall needs to have more control on immigration decision-making. Immigration needs regionalised decision-making, rather than a universal offer for the UK led from Whitehall.
Our recent polling of London businesses, public and councillors shows clear support for devolving administration of immigration post-Brexit to London.
One specific measure that would benefit London would be an expanded and realistic Shortage Occupation List for the capital, similar to what is in place in Scotland. I note that the Home Secretary made passing reference to the UK wide Shortage Occupation List – I urge him to talk to London business groups about the need for a London regional list.”
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
- 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.
- Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive, is available for further comment and interview
- For more information regarding our recent polling visit: https://www.londonchamber.co.uk/news/press-releases/let-london-have-more-control-on-immigration/