Sadiq Khan is expecting London visa proposals within weeks

Mark Sands
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Khan has previously called for new proposals on devolution in next month's Autumn Statement (Source: Getty)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is expecting to receive proposals for anew London visa system within weeks as he seeks to protect the City from some of the potential negative impacts of Brexit.

Khan said last month that he was investigating the possibility that London could offer its own work permits in a bid to counter any fears around potential migration reform for City businesses looking to access talent.

Speaking in City Hall today, Khan said he was expecting proposals from both the City of London and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry “by November”.

Read More: Khan pushing for London devolution deal within weeks

He added that City Hall will then evaluate the plans before they are submitted to Theresa May's Westminster government.

"We need to move sooner rather than later because in the meantime there is a need to make sure we can carry on attracting talent," he said.

Khan added that no City Hall staff are currently working on the plans to avoid duplication, with his officials focused on other potential devolution.

Read More: The London visa: Why the capital should copy Canada

Pressed by Conservative assembly member Gareth Bacon, Khan declined to comment on whether his team would be able to submit proposals to Westminster ahead of May's plans to activate Article 50 by the end of March.

Instead, Khan said he would need to wait and see the plans from LCCI and the City of London before laying out a timeline.

"If they're brilliant then it's a slam dunk but if they need work, or if we have concerns about them then it might take time, but until I see them I can't really make a decision," he said.

The comments came in a session in which Khan also hit out at the government's decision to wait until winter 2017/18 for a final parliamentary vote on airport expansion.

The mayor has been a long term proponent of expanding Gatwick, although Heathrow is currently the favourite to get a new runway.

Read More: Boris allowed to speak out if government backs Heathrow

"The Government’s decision to yet again delay deciding where to build a new runway will cause unnecessary uncertainty for British businesses already struggling with Brexit," Khan said.

"Now, more than ever, businesses need certainty and stability in order to make investment decisions and to keep jobs in Britain. Instead they are getting dither and delay."

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