Summary of TheCityUK party conference programme

TheCityUK ran a programme of activity at this year’s Labour, Conservative and SNP conferences

Our fringe events focused on the global talent, immigration policy and skills needed by the industry after Brexit. Discussions covered highlights from our report with EY, ‘The UK's future immigration system and access to talent’, and recommendations from the recent Migration Advisory Committee publication ‘EEA migration in the UK: Final report'. See below for a short summary of the key themes and issues discussed.

Labour party conference

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Jonathan Reynolds MP, Shadow Economic Secretary (City Minister), opened our fringe event by setting out Labour’s vision for a close relationship between the UK and EU post-Brexit, especially with regard to financial and related professional services. The panel discussed the need for policymakers to highlight the positive impact of migration and to invest further in education and life-long learning. The panel also discussed the continued economic need for migrants with different skills and talent, ranging from creativity to entrepreneurialism. Miles Celic, TheCityUK CEO, noted that access to talent is the most important issue for the UK-based industry to continue to drive economic growth post-Brexit. Listen back to the full discussion here.

The speaker line up for the fringe event also included Kate Green MP, Member, Home Affairs Select Committee, Wes Streeting MP, Member, Treasury Select Committee, and Margaret Burton, Partner, Global Immigration, People Advisory Services, EY.

Conservatives party conference

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Our events at the conservative party conference started with our sponsorship of the 1922 Committee and Conservative Home drinks reception. In her keynote speech, the Prime Minister outlined the UK’s economic and trade opportunities post-Brexit. In his remarks, Miles Celic, TheCityUK CEO, highlighted the importance of our industry to the UK and EU economy and urged policymakers to avoid a cliff edge as the Brexit negotiations are entering into the final stages.

At our fringe event, the panel of speakers discussed that a numerical cap on immigration was not helping to further progress the current immigration debate and was not an effective measure to fill current and future skills gaps. John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister, noted that there was a need to be “advocates for enlightened immigration as all parts of the country, and many industries, depend on it”.

The panel of speakers also included the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Chair, Treasury Select Committee, Miles Celic, CEO, TheCityUK, and Margaret Burton, Partner, Global Immigration, People Advisory Services, EY.

SNP conference

TheCityUK SNP 6 x25
At SNP Conference, our fringe event discussed the benefits of EU and international immigration for the Scottish university system, economy and financial and related professional services industry. Policymakers noted that devolution of immigration policy to the Scottish Government would be beneficial to the economy, and that lessons could be learnt from the Canadian immigration system.

Anthony Thompson, Head of Corporate Affairs, CYBG and Chair, UK Strategy Group, TheCityUK, noted that any new immigration system should be mindful of regional pay differences and seek to avoid regional bias.

The speaker line up for the event also included John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Stuart McDonald MP, SNP Spokesperson for Immigration, and Joanna Cherry QC MP, Member, Exiting the EU Select Committee and SNP Spokesperson for Home Affairs.

For more information
Read our report with EY, ‘The UK’s future immigration system and access to talent'.