Brexit has begun damaging London's economy, warns think tank report

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Brexit is already damaging London’s economy, an independent think tank has warned.

Research from the Centre for London found that the UK’s impending departure from the EU has caused a “wobble” in the capital’s economy because of a slowdown in job creation.

The think tank claimed Brexit is already leading to scores of Europeans not coming to the capital to work, has led to a decline in confidence among businesses and is decelerating house price growth.

It comes after a senior City of London spokesman claimed in a leaked memo that  France is plotting to exploit Brexit in a bid to weaken London’s booming financial sector.

The Centre for London found that registrations for new national insurance numbers by foreign workers have fallen by 15 per cent in the capital over the last year, with three-quarters of the fall accounted for by a drop in EU migration.

Its research also found that job growth was slowing for the first time since 2015 to lag behind the rate in the rest of the UK.

Year-on-year house price growth was under 3 per cent for the three months to April 2017, the lowest level in London since 2012, while increases in private rental values dropped below 2 per cent to their lowest rate since 2010.

The research, released to coincide with the first edition of the Centre’s new London Intelligence publication, noted that the capital’s unemployment rate was at an historic low of 5.5 per cent.

It said there had been a reduction in the number of young people not in education, employment or training.

Centre for London director Ben Rogers said: “London has shown remarkable resilience in the years following the recession. But its growth has not been painless. Levels of inequality have soared. Congestion, pollution and the housing shortage have all worsened.

“While no-one knows how Brexit will play out, this new analysis suggests that London’s economy is beginning to wobble. It also highlights the need to tackle London’s critical challenges to ensure it is in the best possible position to deal with Brexit.

“Through The London Intelligence, Centre for London will continue to deepen our understanding of how London is changing in real-time, and identify whether these are bumps in the road or changes in direction for London.”

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