Council leader on Brexit: ‘Consequences for Islington could be dire’

Cllr Richard Watts, pictured speaking at Gillespie Park last month. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Cllr Richard Watts, pictured speaking at Gillespie Park last month. Picture: Ellie Hoskins - Credit: Archant

Islington Council leader Richard Watts this afternoon said the authority’s affordable housing scheme could be hit by the EU referendum’s Leave vote.

The council is committed to building 2,000 new affordable homes by 2019. But Cllr Watts said shares in housing companies that Islington is working with “plummeted” overnight.

He told the Gazette: “First of all. I want to congratulate the Leave campaign. They were very clear victors and everyone needs to respect that.

“That said, the economic consequences for Islington could be dire. There’s a real danger that investment in homes and jobs could drop because of the enormous uncertainty that has been created.

“Share prices in the companies we are working with to deliver these affordable homes plummeted overnight. We don’t know what’s happening with the EU nationals who keep the NHS running.

“There’s now massive uncertainty and we in Islington are facing a very large drop in investment while the government scrambles around trying to figure out what to do next.”