Following the first meeting of the EU Exit Business Advisory Group last month, the British Chambers of Commerce wrote to the Chancellor regarding the immigration status of EU citizens living and working in the UK.
Since the referendum, we have called on government to give an unconditional guarantee to all EU citizens in the UK. Some businesses are losing key members of staff, while other employees are indicating an intention to leave due to the uncertainty. At a time of near full employment and the skills gap facing firms at all levels, the potential loss of existing EU employees in many firms would have a significant impact on UK productivity and growth.
The Chancellor’s response should give some assurances to EU citizens currently living in the UK, particularly those that arrived before the triggering of Article 50 on 29 March 2017. These EU citizens will be able to stay until they have the five years’ residence to apply for UK settled status.
While this offer may not be as comprehensive as some firms would like, we hope this will prove helpful to businesses seeking to support and advise their European employees.