Corporation policy chief demands clarity over Brexit ‘fiasco’

Catherine McGuinness

THE City Corporation has told government it wants answers over Brexit.

The handling of Britain’s divorce from the EU has been widely labelled a fiasco by campaigners on both sides of the argument.

And as Theresa May and her cabinet joined Conservative members for the party’s annual conference this week (1-4 October), the Corporation has demanded greater clarity over the future of international workers in the UK.

“The ‘London is Open’ tagline will wear thin if politicians don’t provide answers for our international workforce,” said policy chairman Catherine McGuinness, who led the City’s delegation in Manchester.

She said that politicans need to show greater consideration for the individuals who are being directly affected by the lack of clear information coming out of 10 Downing Street.

“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.”

Research by the local authority shows that of the 455,000 workers in the Square Mile, 32% were born outside of the UK, with 12% originating from the EU.

Combined, these demographics hold proportionally more senior positions across the business landscape compared to their UK-born colleagues.

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.

And it is because of this dependency on overseas workers that the City harbours the most concern about government’s plan to scrap freedom of movement by March 2019.

“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.”

Ms McGuinness was also charged with relaying the Corporation’s stance that the City should be working ever-closer with Brexit chiefs to make sure teh Sqaure Mile retains its crown as the world’s financial hub.

“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