Sadiq Khan accuses Tory ministers of ignoring business concerns about skilled EU workers after Brexit vote

'If the Government cuts off access to skilled workers then we will have no choice but to look at a London-specific solution'

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Sadiq Khan will warn on Wednesday that ministers appear to be ignoring concerns that businesses will be blocked from employing the most skilled EU workers after Brexit.

He will say that if the Government does not do more to allay fears of a skills shortage, he will form a "London specific" solution to the potential problem with the capital’s business community.

The Labour mayor’s speech comes after he announced plans for a summit with business leaders and other experts in the new year, to put pressure on ministers to develop an immigration system ensuring firms retain access to skilled workers.

Amber Rudd launches immigration crackdown

At Conservative conference Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd drew attacks from the private sector over plans for an immigration crackdown in the wake of the Brexit vote.

In his speech at the Institute of Directors, Mr Khan will say: "London’s businesses must retain access to the skilled workforce they need in order to grow – it’s absolutely essential to protecting jobs, growth and tax revenues across Britain over the next decade.

"I will keep pushing the Government to recognise this vital need in their negotiating position – but it doesn’t look like they are listening.

"If the Government ignores the needs of business and pushes ahead with a new system that cuts off access to skilled workers then we will have no choice but to look at a London-specific solution."

In October the Government U-turned on controversial plans to force companies to draw up lists of foreign-born employees after they were unveiled at Tory conference.

The policy, trailed after a speech by Ms Rudd in Birmingham, originally appeared to push firms to "be clear about the proportion of their workforce which is international".

After a week of criticism ministers said any data collected under the policy would not be made public and would be for internal policymaking purposes only.

Comments