Following a call by both the London Chamber of Commerce and the City of London Corporation, MPs from an All-Party Parliamentary Group, responsible for social integration, recently backed the idea that London and regions should have the power to issue work visas.
The idea of the London Visa was brought about to ensure that London businesses will continue to be able to recruit overseas nationals with skills and talent that they need after Brexit. The idea of regions having devolved powers would mean that given the varying ‘economic needs of different part of the UK’, local polices could be tailored in accordance with the needs of each region.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group based their idea on the Canadian scheme where each region is allowed to set its own immigration policies and quotas. It has been suggested that the devolving of powers could bring about an improvement in confidence in the UK’s ability to control immigration and help integration. No details have yet been forthcoming as to how a local system would be implemented but given the possible volumes of work permits which will need to be issued having regard to the current inflow of EU nationals, any new system will need to be quick, efficient and cost effective if businesses are to remain competitive on the world stage.