UK employers not prepared for post-Brexit immigration changes

30% of companies expect freedom of movement to continue for EU citizens with job offers after Brexit

50% of UK employers are not prepared for the government’s changes to immigration rules after Brexit, according to research from Resolution Foundation.

30% of companies surveyed said they expect freedom of movement to continue for citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) that have job offers, while 17% thought the rules would not change at all.

Another 46% of respondents didn’t anticipate any decline in the number of EU and EEA nationals they employ, despite prime minister Theresa May’s pledge to cut immigration to the tens of thousands and an already sharp drop in net migration.

However, after losing her majority in last week’s snap general election, May has considerably weakened her hand on the eve of entering into negotiations on the terms of Brexit with the EU; which are due to be completed by the end of March 2019.

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As a result, her plans for a hard Brexit have also taken a hit, with those in her party who favour a softer approach now strengthened.

Stephen Clarke, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, commented: “There’s a stark gap between what businesses want and expect from our post-Brexit immigration system and what the government has pledged to deliver.

“Reconciling these differences, and giving businesses enough to plan for a new regime is absolutely vital.”

 

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