London Assembly work on the impact of Brexit
Brexit is arguably one of the most urgent and pressing issues facing London and the UK economy. Following the referendum result in June 2016 there has been deep uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future relationship with the European Union. What are the risks to London’s economy and what new opportunities will Brexit bring to the fore?
The ramifications are potentially wide-reaching:
- What will happen to the financial services sector?
- What will happen to low-skilled jobs and employment rates?
- How will businesses, big, medium and small, be affected in their day to day operations?
- Will migration and visa restrictions change?
- How are EU nationals faring in London since the referendum and what advice and support do they need?
- How will London retain and attract top EU talent?
- What will happen with EU funding and sectors that rely on this funding?
The London Assembly has been keeping a close watch on developments over the last year and a number of committees, including the Economy Committee and EU Exit Working Group have been examining the issue of Brexit and its impact to ensure London’s voice is heard over the course of the debate and during the negotiation process.
Several bodies have approached the London Assembly since the referendum to make connections in the light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
London’s EU citizens face an ‘advice crisis’
A letter to the Mayor, to feed into his discussions with David Davies, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
The Mayor responded to the letter on October 17 2017
"Your letter makes a number of important points, along with a number of recommendations for me to consider. I have responded to these..."
READ the Mayor's response.
Mayor pressed to publish a Brexit plan of action
A letter to the Mayor pushing him for a published plan of action to give the capital and the financial markets further reassurance. This should cover issues including the impact of Brexit on future funding, London’s financial services sector and the regulatory framework for environmental standards.
‘Warm words’ won’t keep London safe after Brexit
A letter to the Mayor, to consider what contingencies may be needed, should no deal be reached on law enforcement and justice measures after we leave the European Union.
Read the Mayor's response
In its fourth Brexit Directive letter to the Mayor, the London Assembly urges him to discuss whether the Government could provide a sector-specific guarantee for the rights of EU healthcare workers. It also recommends that the Mayor asks the Government to review what impact the removal of nursing bursaries has had on nursing applications.
On September 6th, in a motion agreed by 13 votes for, to 9 votes against, the Assembly called on the Mayor to join the campaign and actively lobby Government and MPs to introduce a second vote on Brexit, if the deal is rejected by Parliament or there is no deal.
The Economy Committee has published a short report on the impact of Brexit on London’s financial and professional services sector. The report sets out the key asks for London, in order to ensure the continued success of this vital part of the UK economy.
Read the report.
Read the transcript - financial services.
Read the transcript - SMEs.
EU Exit Working Group
European voices: EU Londoners speak – open mic event held on the 19 July
Topics covered included:
- Access to advice and support
- Community cohesion
- Hidden voices
- What would help? - the role of local authorities and the Mayor
European Structural and Investment Funds: where next for London? – held on 18 October
Guests included Rt Hon. the Lord Heseltine of Thenford CH
- the implications for London if the Government does not provide replacement funding for ESIF after Brexit.
- the opportunities that Brexit and the Government’s plans for a UK Shared Prosperity Fund may bring for London.
- views on what more the Mayor and the London Assembly can do to put forward London’s requirement for replacement ESIF funding post Brexit.
Meeting with the Mayor – held on 19 October
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan was asked:
- Are there any powers or responsibilities currently exercised at the European level that London government should have?
- Should there be a second referendum on the final terms of the EU exit deal?
- What steps are being taken to protect London’s status as Europe’s financial centre?
- Is the concept of a London visa off the table? If so, what kind of immigration policy is the Mayor pushing Government for?
READ the Mayor's letter to the Chair following his appearance - 15 December 2017
Future work programme
The EU Exit Working Group continues to co-ordinate the work of the London Assembly on Brexit, and to ensure the voice of London is heard in the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Future meetings will be listed here.
Visit from Members of the Scottish Parliament
On 15 November, the EU Exit Working Group hosted a delegation from the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee in London’s Living Room to discuss common areas of concern with regards to EU Exit. Topics covered included regional visas, financial passporting, environmental regulation and the challenges facing the university sector.
Committee of the Regions
On 30 January, the EU Exit Working Group met the President of the EU’s Committee of the Regions and other delegates to discuss Brexit and its impact on London. The Committee of the Regions meets to discuss development of EU laws that affect regions and cities and has the power to intervene in the EU law-making process at several stages.
Devolved Assemblies meeting at the Scottish Parliament
On 3 March, the EU Exit Working Group met with Members of the European Committees of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales to discuss areas of common concern surrounding Brexit. A number of areas were discussed, including: the free movement of people, the replacement of European funding and inter-governmental relations.
Read the joint letter about European funding from the EU Exit Working Group, Members of the European Committees of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales. Issued on 20 December 2017.
Flemish Parliament meeting
On 17 May, the EU Exit Working Group met the speaker of the Flemish Parliament along with other members of that Parliament to discuss the implications of Brexit for London’s economy and the future status of EU citizens in London. The Flemish region is the largest exporter to Britain of a range of products, including fruit juice, carpets and nappies and one in 40 Flemish jobs depends on exports to Britain.