Why it’s now time to revoke Article 50, plus our Spring Statement response
13 March 2019
Commenting on the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Jasmine Whitbread, CEO of London First, said:
“The UK’s run of growth and job creation will come to a catastrophic end if we crash out of the EU without a deal. That’s why Parliament must act decisively to take no deal off the table — revoking Article 50 is the only way to do that without going cap in hand to all EU members with no clear plan.
“We need to stop the clock on Brexit and give Parliament the time it needs to reach a consensus on the way forward. If it can’t, then the decision must go back to the people.”
“If the cloud of no-deal can be lifted, we must see the Government commit to unleashing investment in infrastructure in the next spending review to boost the UK’s productivity. The Government already has a ready-made roadmap in the independent National Infrastructure Assessment’s strategy. It needs to act on its recommendations, with a firm commitment to spending at least 1.2% of GDP on infrastructure each year and by giving the green light to both Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“With PFI consigned to history, unleashing private sector investment will be critical to delivering much-needed projects. But instead of more consultation, investors need clarity from the Government on how market-led proposals in rail will be assessed and allowed to proceed.”
“A new £3 billion Affordable Housing Guarantee Scheme and £717m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock 37,000 new homes across England is a step in the right direction, as the Government starts to get to grips with the shortfall in spending needed to meet our housing targets. The housing crisis can only be solved by a combination of more money, more land and better ways of building, which means the Government, the Mayor and industry must now come together to crack this complex puzzle.”
On immigration and skills:
“Further extending the use of airport e-gates is welcome, but if we are to genuinely keep the UK open for business, we must put in place a fair and managed immigration system that keeps the flow of talent coming into the UK. That includes revising the £30,000 salary threshold.
“Exempting PhD-level roles from the arbitrary visa cap is a no brainer. As well as removing international students from the net migration figures, London First is also calling for a post-study work visa route to keep overseas talent in the UK by enabling students to stay for two years after they finish studying.”
Ahead of the Spring Statement, we wrote to the Chancellor, jointly with the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, to call for a clear focus on infrastructure in the Comprehensive Spending Review, with a minimum commitment to invest 1.2% of GDP on infrastructure.
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