Firms call for infrastructure spend before the beginning of Brexit talks

Billy Bambrough
Follow Billy
The London Chamber praised the new night tube service (Source: Getty)

London businesses want increased infrastructure spending before the beginning of Brexit negotiations, according to a new survey.

More than four in five London businesses say increased investment in infrastructure is important for the UK economy in the period between the referendum and the start of Brexit negotiations, according to a ComRes poll on behalf of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

With formal talks with the European Union not expected to start before the end of the year, increased investment in housing and transport is important for the London economy, said 82 per cent of respondents.

Read more: Brexit is a chance for London to renew itself again as a great global city

Increased devolution of tax and spending powers to London had the support of 56 per cent, the same as the year before.

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

This survey confirms what we have been saying consistently – that we need to act now to safeguard the London, and the wider UK economy, by building now for a growing population.

Major infrastructure projects such as airport expansion in the South-East, Crossrail, the night tube and new fixed river crossings for East London will bring employment and in turn more revenues.

The Brexit environment cannot be a period of excuses and inaction.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May hit back at EU countries threatening the UK ahead of trade negotiations, insisting they will sign up for a post-Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister also said she would be “ambitious” in negotiations and backed the UK to be a “global leader in free trade”.

The vibrant London tech scene is expected to be in line to pick up some infrastructure investment in coming months.

Read more: London's the most expensive place in the world to locate a tech startup

Today it was announced the Innovate UK-funded Digital Catapult – set up to help small businesses grow their digital capabilities – would roll out 50 IoT hubs around the capital, called the Digital Catapult Things Connected programme.

Businesses will be able to connect to the hubs to test IoT software and introduce it to consumers.

The announcement follows a ringing endorsement of the London tech industry from city rival New York.

Related articles