London's Brexit wish-list must include rules allowing entry for migrants without jobs, according to Assembly Members

Mark Sands
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Sadiq Khan Flys The Flag For The EU
The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June (Source: Getty)

New immigration rules must not prevent people without job offers entering the country, according to London Assembly Members, who have drawn up a post-Brexit wish list for the capital and the Square Mile.

While Theresa May has suggested new restrictions will be a key part of any divorce terms negotiated with the EU, chancellor Philip Hammond has countered that the government should continue to facilitate movement among highly-skilled workers.

And now the Assembly's economy committee has hit out at a lack of clarity over the potential for reform to the UK's migration rules in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum – and warned against barring migrants without jobs.

Assembly Members will be hoping their findings will steer London mayor Sadiq Khan, who is set to begin a series of monthly meetings with Brexit secretary David Davis ahead of the activation of Article 50.

Read More: PM must axe "counterproductive" plans to cut immigration: IEA

In a report looking at the implications of Brexit for the Square Mile, AMs said uncertainty could be preventing firms from hiring and deterring EU nationals from applying for work in the UK.

In a bid to counter fears, Assembly Members are demanding any new system does not block entrance for workers without jobs.

Many talented coders from the EU are coming to the UK and setting up in Silicon Roundabout or Shoreditch where they are developing apps or algorithms that can help create or grow businesses.

“A skills-based immigration system will be more successful in the long-term as opposed to one that is, according to [TheCityUK chief executive] Miles Celic, 'simply about moving people around into individual jobs that already exist'," Assembly Members said.

Read More: Rudd signals retreat on tough migration plans

They also lent their support for the development of a London visa programme, an avenue that London mayor Sadiq Khan is already exploring, echoed widespread concerns over the lose of passporting for City of London firms, warning it would create "significant upheaval".

The proposals from Assembly Members come just one day after a survey found that 70 per cent of Britons support limiting EU migration after the summer Brexit vote.

Almost three-quarters of Britons also said that EU and non-EU migrants should be treated the same under migration rules.

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