Separate visa for London mooted to retain it as financial hub of Europe
Posted on July 30, 2016
Colin Stanbridge, the London Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive, feels that the need of the hour was to have a separate visa for London when the UK leaves the European Union. Even Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, is said to be eager to retain London’s status as one of the financial hubs of Europe.
Stanbridge is quoted by workpermit.com as saying that it was important for the future of London’s economy to continue to attract the migrant workforce. Without migrant workers, success is not assured and without their industriousness, London would slowly lose its sheen, he said. Stanbridge exhorted Khan to collaborate with his Business Advisory Council to put in place a London visa that would allow skilled hands from member states of EU to remain in the British capital.
This would give rise to a collective organisation that could assure a third-party sponsorship path for registered sector-specific companies with acknowledged skill shortages.
Stanbrige’s call is a reflection of the city’s business houses fears of probable losses of jobs In London and its suburbs. Business analysts opine that over 40,000 jobs could be taken away from the city’s financial services and relocated in cities such as Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin. The latest estimates put the number of people working in London in business and financial services at 920,000.
Sam Alderson, an economist with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, feels that there would definitely be a negative impact, but the scenario for jobs was looking quite bad earlier too as far as mergers and acquisitions activity was concerned. The long-term impact depends mainly on the way negotiations take place, especially in passporting rights area, which allows British regulated banks to operate across the EU. If that does not happen, it would pose a serious threat to London’s financial services and insurance jobs, said Alderson.
Echoing Alderon’s statement, Khan said losing passporting rights would be disastrous. Khan said he would push the Treasury to ensure that passporting tops their priority list. He said he would meet the Chancellor to discuss this issue very soon.
Khan is already reported having consulted Mark Carney, governor of Bank of England, on making London retain its status as a major financial centre. He said that he would also like to clarify the status of the more than 850,000 citizens belonging to EU who reside and work in London. Khan added that they needed answers on visas in future if they were to continue supporting companies locating in London.
Though none of the banks have confirmed yet about the number of jobs that would move out of London, one of leading figures of the city pointed out that many could head to Edinburgh if Scotland decides to remain in the EU and separate from the United Kingdom.
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