City of London Corporation – International Workers Need Certainty on their Future

The City of London Corporation has today called for the Conservative party to provide greater clarity over the future of international workers in the UK after Brexit. The City Corporation, which supports and promotes the City as a world-leading financial and business hub, will have a number of representatives at their conference in Manchester this week.

The City of London has for centuries been based on the principles of openness and internationalism, drawing workers from across the world to the help main our position as the number one financial centre. Research by the City Corporation shows that of the 455,000 workers in the Square Mile, 32% were born outside of the UK, while 12% were born in the EU. The figures also show that these workers hold proportionally more senior positions in businesses.

Figures from last year also show that 92% of jobs across the rest of the UK, excluding London, were held by British nationals, with EU citizens occupying 5% and 3% held by people from elsewhere in the world. Across the capital those figures differ dramatically with EU and international workers holding 15% and 9% respectively.

The Government’s plan to end free movement of citizens from March 2019 reiterates the need for clarity, particularly for London, around the UK’s future migration system, ensuring the UK can continue to fill the very best jobs with the finest talent

The City Corporation will today (Monday) host a Brexit & financial services roundtable with the Institute for Economic Affairs with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss MP. It will also host a regional devolution and Industrial Strategy fringe meeting in partnership with Localis where former Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb MP will address the audience. Finally Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones MP will speak at a ‘Future of London’ dinner. All three events will be attended by City of London elected members, officers and City figures.

The City Corporation also urges the Conservative party to make sure that the financial and professional services sector is consulted over Industrial Strategy policy development in the coming months. The upcoming White Paper should also look to better support the services sector, especially as it underpins industrial expansion in other sectors.

Leading the City of London Corporation’s attendance at the Labour conference, Policy Chairman Catherine McGuinness, said:

“The ‘London is open’ tagline will wear thin if politicians don’t provide answers for our international workforce. This uncertainty also affects workers up and down the country.

“While City firms are rightfully preparing their contingency plans, it is a lot harder for individuals and their families to plan for the future and unfair that they should be unsure of their position in a country to which many of them have contributed so much. It is all too easy to forget the human angle and the impact that Brexit has caused. We urge the Government, and EU27, to reach agreement on the status of EU nationals as soon as possible.

“The City also encourages the Conservatives to engage with the financial and professional services sector in the coming months over how their Industrial Strategy will develop. Infrastructure, skills and research are integral to a sustainable and growing economy and the City to help in developing policies which affect the wider economy.”

In October 2016 the City Corporation published a report produced by PwC outlining for debate how elements of immigration policy could be devolved so that visas for non-UK nationals could be tailored to meet the needs of local business. The report set out how such a system could work in practice and indicates how it could support economic growth outside of London. The report was distributed to Government departments at the time.

Notes to editors

  1. The City of London Corporation proposals for a regional visa can be found here.
  2. About the City of London Corporation: The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:
  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See for more details.