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The Tower Hamlets Brexit Commission

Brexit Commission logo website

Following the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, there is a need for organisations to understand the emerging shape of any likely agreement and to explore what impact that will have.

For local government, it is particularly important to consider;

  • the implications of Brexit on the economy in a the local area
  • the lives of residents and civil society
  • the delivery of public services.

To help with that process, Mayor John Biggs has announced the launch of the Tower Hamlets Brexit Commission.

 The main aim will be to examine the impact that Brexit will have in these key areas. It will consider how statutory partners, local businesses, residents and community groups can work together to minimise any negative impact on the borough, while taking advantage of potential opportunities.

Why does Brexit matter to Tower Hamlets?

The borough sits at the heart of London’s economy, straddling Canary Wharf and the City Fringe.

It is the third largest contributor to the UK economy, responsible for as much as £12billion in tax revenue each year.

More than one in seven residents in our borough, around 41,000 people, are from the remaining 27 EU states. They play a valued role in one of the country’s most diverse and inclusive communities.

In Canary Wharf alone, each day 120,000 men and women work in 37 office buildings alongside 300 shops, cafes and restaurants.

But the borough’s business community is not just characterised by the big names. Small and medium sized enterprises are at the heart of the Tower Hamlets economy, with almost 99 per cent of the 16,800 firms based here employing fewer than 250 people.

Initial indications are that Brexit will place particular pressure on companies working in the financial, real estate, administrative services, distribution, hospitality, transport and communications sectors, as they are the most reliant on an EU workforce. 

Communities in Tower Hamlets have benefited from significant EU funding in recent years through the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. The borough currently receives £2.6 million towards initiatives to improve the local economy, development, infrastructure, employment and training.