Mark Boleat letter to the FT on London's economic future

Letter from the Policy and Resources Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Mark Boleat, in response to a FT article on the economic challenges that London will face in the future.

Dear Sir,

Mayor Boris Johnson’s commissioned report on London’s economic future makes some salient points which have echoed around the City for some time (“UK hostility to migrants threatens London, says report”, FT, January 5th). As London First and the London Enterprise Panel point out, if London is to remain one of the world’s top business destinations, there are a host of problems we face and must overcome.

Two key challenges are a lack of access to the global pool of highly-skilled workers and the continuing uncertainty over immigration policy and our relationship with the EU. This can create the false impression that we are cutting ourselves off from the international marketplace. And to these should be added concerns about broadband for SMEs in the City, a worrying skills gap in important sectors of the economy and a regional devolution debate which has no immediate solution.

This is not just about London: the rest of the UK benefits when the capital generates revenue and wealth. However, with the General Election looming ever closer, now is the time for our politicians to work with business in addressing these obstacles and help create the jobs and sustainable growth that we all want to see.

Mark Boleat

Policy Chairman, City of London Corporation, PO Box 270, Guildhall, London EC2P 2EJ