Sadiq Khan has said City Hall is planning to create a separate work permit system for London following Britain’s exit from the EU.
The London Mayor, who has previously urged the government to delay triggering Article 50, reportedly said plans for a tailored deal on immigration into post-Brexit London are being discussed with the chancellor Phillip Hammond, the Brexit secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Mr Khan told Sky News on Tuesday that a group of business representatives were looking to create “a model that will ensure we can carry on recruiting and attracting talent”, following worries Brexit may cause an exodus of workers and businesses from the capital.
He said he is due to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss London’s stake in any Brexit deal.
"We are talking to business leaders, businesses, business representatives to see what we can do to make sure London doesn't lose out on the talent, the innovation the partnership that has let us be the greatest City in the world,” said Mr Khan.
"The good news is the Government gets it. The good news is in all the conversations I've had with members of the Government, from the Chancellor to the Brexit Secretary to the Foreign Secretary and others in Government, I think they get it.
"I'll be meeting the Prime Minister soon to discuss our issues but I think the Government recognises it is in nobody's interests for us to get a bad deal with the EU."
In August, Mr Khan urged the government not to trigger the process of leaving the EU until late 2017, allowing Brexit negotiators time to “square the circle” of ending freedom of movement into Britain, while retaining access to the single market.
As uncertainty looms over how and when the UK will leave the bloc, most companies with links to the capital have not said definitively how they will take action in the wake of Brexit.
The US hedge fund Marathon has increased its property investments in European countries, believing many companies will start leaving London in the next few years.
The head of the Paris region, Valerie Pecresse, has said she is aiming to take British jobs to France and her authority has spent several million euros on an advertising campaign promoting her region as an alternative to London.
While financial firms, which have been crucial to UK economic growth, are concerned they will lose the so-called “passporting” rights which allow them to trade in all 28 member states.
JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon said he would move up to 4,000 employees to the continent after Brexit.
On 26 June, 56 per cent of Londoners voted to remain in the bloc, triggering calls for the capital to become a separate state from the rest of the UK and retain its EU membership.
Mr Khan, who launched the “London is open” campaign to encourage visitors and investment to London, has dismissed the idea of London independence but has been outspoken about lobbying for London’s interests in Brexit negations.
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