Delivering certainty for EU citizens in the UK
Following the first meeting of the EU Exit Business Advisory Group on Wednesday, 13 September, Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chamber of Commerce, wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding the immigration status of EU citizens living and working in the UK.
"Since the referendum, the BCC has repeatedly called on the government to give an unconditional guarantee to all EU citizens in the UK. We know, through our survey work that many businesses have already lost key members of staff, and other employees have indicated that they intend to leave the UK, due to the uncertainty over their immigration status. 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. I would encourage you to distribute this response to your members which should give their EU employees some assurances over their future immigration status. I understand that the offer is not as comprehensive as we would like, particularly for EU citizens that have arrived in the UK after the 29 March 2017, but I hope this will prove helpful to Chamber businesses seeking to support and advise their European employees."