Brexit could “drive a wedge” between London and the rest of the UK, suggests a new report, which claims London and continental Europe are currently enjoying a closer relationship than ever.
Says the new report from Centre for London:
In June 1975… London’s population was 7.5 million, had been falling since the second world war, and it continued to decline for another 20 years.
Fast forward 40 years and London has changed dramatically. Its population, at 8.6 million, is the highest it has ever been. One in three Londoners was born overseas, and nearly 10% of the population are from other EU countries.
A UK exit from the European Union would have a dramatic impact on the city.
Centre for London‘s analysis — which looks at where London’s 850,000 European-born citizens live, come from, work and study — gives a snapshot of just how intricately London and the EU are linked.
A Brexit, continues the report, would cause tension between capital and country: London is 57% to 43% against a British exit, compared to a seemingly as-yet undecided rest of the UK.
Nearly 10% of London’s population, says the report, comes from other EU countries, with Polish, Irish, French and Italian people making up the largest groups. Here are the London boroughs with the largest communities from each EU country (excluding the UK, obviously):
In 2015, European workers made up 12% of London’s workforce, accounting for around one third of all jobs held by European workers in the UK:
A third of European workers employed in London work in higher-skilled managerial and technical roles — significantly more than in the rest of the UK:
EU students account for 8% of all undergraduates and 13% of postgraduates in London — twice the proportion in the rest of the UK:
The report concludes:
With over 616,000 EU nationals employed in London, tighter visa regulation would deal a major blow to London’s economy. London already trades on a global stage, and would bounce back from Brexit. But leaving the EU would change the capital’s character, fly in the face of its citizen’s preferences, and drive a wedge between London and the rest of the UK.
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Read the full report.