What does the new Brexit paper mean for business?
A Brexit document leaked last week gave concise insights into what the government is proposing in negotiations. The 80-page document leaked to the Guardian showed that Theresa May’s government has plans to curb EU immigration significantly.
As we knew from recent announcements there are plans for an immediate halt to free movement of labour both to and from Europe. EU citizens who have been in the country from a specific (currently unknown cut-off date) can apply for Leave to Remain which will entitle them to work and study without applying for visas.
Indefinite Leave to Remain is currently available to those who have been living legally in the UK for a continuous period of time whether through work, study or family sponsorship. IAS did experience a significant increase in applications to settle in the UK after Article 50 was announced as Europeans living in the UK looked to solidify their rights.
As laid out in the conservative manifesto, the government has plans to cut immigration numbers down to under the 100,000 marks per year. This may be achieved through the proposed Brexit-immigration policy that will define EU workers that are high-skilled as desirable whereas low-skilled workers will have less of a chance. Part of the government push to put the workers of Britain first but there are British businesses who will be hit by the labour drain from Europe.
At the moment, there has been no hint of what the government is choosing to define as high or low skilled jobs. The current skills shortage list – the list of occupations employers is allowed to search outside of the non-EEA without initially advertising in the EU for a period of time – consists of jobs such as physical scientists and classical ballet dancers does not mirror the average EU workers contribution to the British economy.
The British Hospitality Association claims 75% of waiters, 25% of chefs and 37% of housekeepers in the UK are EU nationals and at least 60,000 new EU workers are needed every year to fill vacancies. This means there would be a momentous skills gap that would take a number of years to bridge with UK workers with the onus on British businesses to supply that training.
There are still more negotiations to come between the European Union and the United Kingdom as well as the EU Summit in October where the details of Brexit will be discussed from all sides. Businesses will also experience a period of adjustment after Brexit date where they will need to reassess the rights of their EU workers. Currently, smart British businessmen and women are looking into getting sponsorship licences at this very moment in order to assure their workers’ rights and escape the mad rush after Brexit.
Regardless of what side of the argument you personally stand on, Brexit will change the face of immigration to the UK for years to come and will influence the UK’s place in the global economy.
If you’re concerned about your immigration status in the UK following Brexit, get in touch with our team today to discuss your options.