2,300 jobs in Wandsworth at risk from a hard Brexit

Figures published by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, reveal the full impact that a ‘no deal’ hard Brexit would have on the borough of Wandsworth, with 2,300 jobs potentially under threat.

New data predicts that if the UK leaves the European Union in exactly a year’s time, on 29 March 2019, with no deal, there will be 140,800 jobs in Wandsworth in 2030. However, if the UK were to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union, there would be 143,100 jobs in the borough.

The findings formed part of an analysis of the potential impact of five different Brexit scenarios on London, commissioned by the Mayor last year from leading economic analysts Cambridge Econometrics.

Speaking about the impact that a ‘no deal’ hard Brexit would have in Wandsworth, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Wandsworth residents and businesses will be shocked to learn of the huge economic risks – and human costs – at stake in the Brexit negotiations.

“It is up to the Government to secure a Brexit deal that protects Wandsworth from a lost decade of lower growth and lower employment”.

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Other data recently released on the impact of Brexit on Wandsworth paints a similarly worrying picture. According to a “Brexit Audit” recently carried out by European Movement Wandsworth, 61% of businesses and organisations surveyed in the borough are pessimistic about their prospects after Brexit. Around two thirds of the 87 businesses and organisations surveyed said that Brexit has made them less likely to hire new staff and new make new investments.

The audit suggests that workers from the EU27 countries (i.e. the present EU except for the UK) make up around 25% of the workforce in Wandsworth, including 30% in the hospitality sector.

At St George’s hospital 16% of all staff are from the EU27. As well as relying on large numbers of EU27 employees, St George’s also relies heavily on EU funding for its research budgets, 13.5% (£1.4m) of which comes from the EU.

According to St George’s Principal, Professor Jenny Higham: “It is not yet clear what will happen to outstanding and new bids for EU funding. There are millions of pounds at risk in my own institution. What we are seeing already are changes in behaviour and pessimism about applying for and retaining a lead in European collaborations.”

In the 2016 Referendum, 75% of Wandsworth residents voted Remain, the sixth highest in the country. There are 26,000 EU citizens living in Wandsworth.

Commenting on the range of new Brexit research data, Simon Hogg, Leader of Wandsworth Labour said: “it is clear from many sources that the impact of Brexit on Wandsworth will be negative. Wandsworth Labour opposes a Tory hard Brexit and believes that the rights of all EU citizens in the borough should be protected. If elected in May we will lobby the Government to continue the social and economic advances enabled by our membership of the EU”.

Author: Wandsworth Labour

News and opinion from Wandworth Labour councillors

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