Three ways Brexit is hitting London

At May’s council elections in Sutton, I was proud to defeat the Tories’ deputy leader, not least because he proudly backs Brexit. I’m a born-Londoner who’s lived in four different boroughs, and I’m not sure how you can claim to have London’s best interests at heart when you back a major event that will hit our city.

Here’s how Brexit is already hitting London. You may find these useful talking points when you’re on the doorstep making the case for a People’s Vote:

1. Risking our NHS: London is twice as reliant as the rest of the country on EU nationals working as nurses. As per 2017 NHS Workforce Statistics, 10% of London’s nurses are EU nationals, compared to 5% nationally.

London’s hospitals and clinics could not function without EU doctors and nurses. Yet, despite a record number of nursing vacancies, the number of EU nurses registering to work in the UK has fallen by 90% since the EU referendum. What kind of country are we when even the people who take care of us are made to feel unwelcome?

2. Risking our security: The Metropolitan Police use European tools that are vital for keeping Londoners safe, including the European Arrest Warrant, Prum arrangements for sharing biometric data, EU passenger name records, and working with Europol. On these tools, the Met Police’s assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt has been clear that his force “would want them retained”. In times of heightened security, to even contemplate ‘no deal’ on our security is the very height of irresponsible.

3. Risking our jobs: A ‘no deal’ scenario is still a possibility and according to independent research commissioned by Mayor Sadiq Khan, the value of goods and services London produces would fall by £10.8 billion- for perspective, that is the entire value of goods and services produced by Belfast. 87,000 jobs would also be lost. Perhaps 87,000 Brexit supporters want to volunteer to lose their jobs since this is what they voted for?

It is tempting for us to say “Don’t blame me, I voted Remain!”, but as the People’s Vote campaign gains ground, we must dig our heels in.

Democracy did not end on 23rd June 2016. As the lies from Brexiteers unravel and the spin gives way to reality, across London and indeed the UK, let’s keep demanding a final say for the British people. Let’s have the People’s Vote.

* Mo Saqib is a councillor in Sutton, elected in May 2018, and works in his ward for a zero emission tech business. A Remainer who will proudly tell you he’s visited half of Europe!

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • It seems now that all Labour would commit themselves to, assuming that the “People’s Vote” amendment or motion passes tomorrow) is to have a vote on Theresa’s deal, assuming she gets one. The whole issue of the damage any Brexit would do, and the potential complexity of No Deal seems to be left behind, except for the rather nebulous “We would prefer a General Election. It seems that nothing is committing Labour to promising anything about a sceptical or anti approach to Brexit, either in their manifesto or if they are elected in that putative General Election!

  • Except perhaps the first, these are not ways Brexit is already hitting London. These are predictions for how it will hit London.

    What an odd mistake.

  • Peter Hirst 25th Sep '18 - 1:00pm

    There’s also London’s property market to consider, especially the commercial one. If wealthy people stop coming here and businesses stop investing in it, London will be the poorer though tougher regulations and enforcement against dirty money is essential.

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