Monitor records uncertainty of Brexit.

London Responds

The Morgan McKinley London Monitor has been published at a time when the City is still trying to come to terms with what might happen with Brexit. Hakan Enver, managing director, Morgan McKinley, linked the company’s findings with the Brexit document, saying: “It’s stunning to see that in a 585 page plan for Britain’s future, an industry that contributes £119 billion a year to the economy barely gets a mention.”

According to the monitor `new jobs came to market in November at a rate of four per cent less than in October, and were down by 39 per cent, year-on-year. “In November of 2017 jobs were up by 5 per cent from the previous month, and only down by three per cent from the previous year”, said Enver. “Brexit has taken a considerable bite out of banking jobs and with an ambiguous Brexit deal on the table, the City’s bracing for more pain ahead.”

After months of steep incline, job seeker figures are down in November by 14 per cent month-on-month and by 28 per cent year-on-year. “It’s been a year of peaks and troughs for job seekers. When you balance it out over the course of the year, however, it’s a relatively flat trend. We are ending the year very much where we began”, said Enver. The annual holiday season slow down coincides with the looming Brexit deadline which will determine who can and who cannot work in Britain.

As jobs are relocated, businesses hold out hope for meritocratic visa policies

Ambitious professionals across the globe look to London for career advancement opportunities and growth, a scenario that is unlikely to change in a post-Brexit UK. However, financial services employers are anxiously awaiting signs from political leaders that they intend to ease the process of visas for highly skilled individuals worldwide. “If visa regulations aren’t modernised, the government will shrink the City’s talent pool, effectively shrinking the economy”, said Enver.

The hope is that added residency barriers for EU nationals will be offset by an easing of visa barriers for qualified professionals from highly competitive hubs in Asia and the United States. “We are forced to think outside the EU paradigm, which is uncomfortable and disappointing, but also offers opportunities for a truly meritocratic visa system that would enable recruitment from top financial services cities and tech hubs worldwide.

The need is especially acute as businesses are decreasingly able to justify housing their European operations in Britain. “The bulk of those jobs are leaving for good, but industries change. With a truly global talent pool there’s no limit to the types of financial services and FinTech innovation that London can generate,” said Enver.

New trade deals are central to the government’s post-Brexit strategy and, if successful, would ease the blow from increased barriers to trade and cooperation with the EU. As with opening the door to highly skilled professionals, many in the business sector are hoping for increased ease of trade with countries across the globe. “When one door closes, another opens. Britain needs to dust itself off and go boldly into a post-EU future. That means renegotiated trade deals, and passporting agreements with nations beyond Europe,” said Enver. “There is no rule that says we either have to do business exactly the same way we did five years ago, or do no business at all.”

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