UK: UKHospitality welcomes reassurance provided by leaked government briefing paper.
The government will offer EU citizens living in the UK a unilateral right to stay in the country if there is no Brexit deal, according to cabinet papers leaked to The Telegraph.
All 3.8 million EU citizens living in the UK will be granted the right to remain in the country, entitling them to stay and continue to access healthcare, benefits, and pensions.
According to The Telegraph, the paper says: “The Home Office plans to make an offer to existing EU residents that they can remain in the UK in a ‘no deal’ scenario, in effect unilaterally implementing the (immigration element of the) Citizens’ Rights agreement agreed with the EU in December 2017. The proposal is to make the offer irrespective of whether the EU reciprocates. Any package would need resolution for the reciprocal elements of the December 2017 deal. Making an offer is not only important to provide certainty publicly, but will enable the UK Government to take the moral high ground. A number of other plans are also dependent on the Government’s position on this issue, relying heavily on the availability of existing labour in a ‘no deal’ scenario.”
It is estimated that around one in eight of all staff working in hospitality in the UK are from other EU states. UKHospitalitychief executive Kate Nicholls, said: “The statement gives businesses much-needed clarity on the future of its workforce as we leave the EU, with or without a deal. It rightly acknowledges the contribution made by EU nationals to UK businesses. In hospitality, EU workers help to ease acute skills and labour gaps, while the industry works to encourage more British people to choose careers in our sector.”
“Allowing existing EU citizens the right to stay goes some way to support the needs of our business and will allow the sector to continue to grow, invest and benefit the UK economy,” she added.