How will freedom of movement affect small businesses?

posted by 4 years ago in News

Business leaders across the country have shut down Number 10’s dedication to end the free movement of labour in 2019 expressing it will be a “disaster” for the economy.

During July, Theresa May’s spokesman was involuntarily made to confirm and clarify May’s position on EU immigration revealing it was “wrong… to suggest that free movement will continue as it is now.”

He verified that the freedom of movement will come to an end from March 2019, and after this, EU nationals will have to go through a registration system – how this will work is still undergoing planning. The comments passed have undermined chancellor, Philip Hammond who said in the past that the control of full migration would not come into effect for some time after Brexit.

A FTSE100 boss revealed to City A.M. the move is a “disaster.”

“Our economy will collapse if we go through with this,” he went onto explain; “Most business people are more worried than before because they thought there would be some pragmatism in place. But this isn’t about the economy – Brexiters are obsessed with sovereignty. They don’t care if there’s a 20-year recession.”

Many other business leaders have raised separate concerns about their approach to the EU’s best talent and the overall complexity generated from the governments way of handling the issue.

Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP boss shared with City A.M.

“If it happens, it does not make our job any easier. We rely on the ability to attract diverse talent of all kinds… This further confuses the ‘debate’ about the length of the transition period and increases levels of uncertainty.”

Sir Mike Rake, Outgoing BT Group chairman adds;

“We need flexibility, speed and agility to bring in and maintain the people, highly skilled and unskilled, needed to keep our economy going.”

Those in the technology sector felt the anger most as they are fearful of the impacts the move may cause to the industry. Russ Shaw founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates comments;

“The government’s confused messaging on immigration is increasing uncertainty and damaging the UK’s reputation as a destination for fast-growth businesses… Investors fear uncertainty, and we will not be able to continue attracting Europe’s brightest minds if we cannot guarantee that they will be welcome, and that their legal status will remain secure after March 2019 and beyond.”

Chief Executive of TheCityUK, Miles Celic contributes;

“Being able to access the best talent from across the UK, EU and the rest of the world is fundamental to the UK’s ability to maintain its position as the leading international financial centre. This is why mutual access to talent is one of the key priorities for the for the industry from the Brexit negotiations.

“We want clarity around what new visa system and immigration criteria will look like to enable financial and related professional services firms – and other UK industries – to better plan and continue to attract and retain people with the right skills gaps – essential to the UK’s globally leading FinTech sector.

“As an industry that employs over 2.2 million people right across the country, collectively pays more than £87bn in tax, and is the largest exporting industry, we are keen to work closely with government to ensure we can continue to offer the best service to customers and clients into the future.”