We prepare for Brexit CountdownMarch 27, 2017
Earlier this month the European Union (notification of withdrawal) Bill was given Royal Assent, granting the Prime Minister the power to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. We now know that the countdown to the UK’s exit from the EU in 2019 will begin on Wednesday 29 March.
As the Bill progressed through both Houses, London First lobbied hard for the government to guarantee the rights of EU nationals already resident in the UK. Our chief executive, Jasmine Whitbread, brought the case directly to MPs and Peers, arguing that this would generate stability, certainty and goodwill for EU nationals, businesses, and our European partners. We will continue to call on the government to make these guarantees before formal negotiations begin.
In the coming months and years immigration and skills will stay at the top of London First’s agenda, and we will continue to be a thoughtful and fearless advocate for London business. It is crucial that the final Brexit deal allows access to the talent business needs from the UK and overseas. In conjunction with making the case for an evidence-based immigration system, we will be developing a business-led skills strategy for London, led by our Skills Commission which launched earlier this month.
While we call on the government to make the right choices on immigration, we will continue to make the case for further measures to put London and the rest of the UK in the best position for Brexit. This means investing in housing and other infrastructure such as Crossrail 2, which will unlock growth across the capital and bolster our competitiveness. Further devolution to London and other city regions around the country will allow local areas to make these investment decisions while the government is reshaping our national relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.