London bridge

Calls for a London work visa are growing, despite apparent ambivalence to the idea from the UK government.

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has been outlining ideas for a London work visa. Their scheme would involve companies sponsoring specific workers, and a special National Insurance number that would only entitle the holder to work in London.

Sean McKee, policy director at LCCI said: "Our city would collapse without migrants. We need an immigration policy that is slightly different for London. The biggest issue by far [for businesses] is skills and staff. It is vital to London’s future that a degree of flexibility is applied if the government amends the UK immigration system.”

On this theme, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan recently said: "When you say ‘London visa’, you think, ‘well, there’s no chance of that happening’ because it assumes independence or it assumes borders. But if you think about it in a different way … for example, ensuring that London businesses have the ability to recruit talent, that’s a different argument and a different discussion. So I think nothing should be off the table.”

However, the Theresa May government has made it clear that it wants a UK wide policy regarding Brexit, and has hinted, if not explicitly stated, that that a London work visa would not be supportive of such an approach.