Up to 70,000 City jobs could be lost in the event that Britain leaves the Single Market when it leaves the European Union, according to a major report.
Published by the Centre for London think tank, the report has called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to be awarded a major role in the EU negotiations to prevent the capital from losing its “creative edge” as a result of Brexit.
According to the think tank, new UK visas known as ‘City Maker Visas’ should be launched in London to allow EU workers to live in the capital for 12 months while they seek startup or work opportunities.
Entitled ‘Open City’, the report added that there should also be an extended two-year working holiday UK visa for EU citizens to allow fast-track UK work permit applications to be submitted.
The Centre for London suggested that, while London could be considered better-equipped to face the risks of Brexit than other parts of the country, it is also more exposed.
"Our universities, hotels, restaurants, offices and building sites are powered by students and workers from across the EU to a far greater extent than the rest of the country,” the report said.
It added that the city’s global city service sectors also need to gain information immediately on how the Single Market will be regulated post-Brexit.
It added: "Falling out of the Single Market without a comprehensive trade deal or adequate transitional arrangements would be catastrophic for many London businesses, as would the sudden loss of EU workers."
Furthermore, the report has warned that the effect of Brexit on the UK immigration system could also harm London’s ability to attract young students, entrepreneurs and creative from around the world who may otherwise have become “lifelong ambassadors for London”.