Businesses may suffer under stricter hiring laws for non-EU migrants

The UK’s productivity and competitiveness will be put “further at risk” by proposals to reduce immigration from outside of the EU, according to a UK/EU thinktank leader.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has put forward proposals to make it more difficult for businesses to hire workers from outside of the EU and UK companies could be forced to list the number of international workers they have, as part of a clamp down on the number of migrants coming from outside of the EU.

Jonathan Portes, senior fellow of The UK in a Changing Europe told the International Business Times: “Already, some employers are finding it harder to recruit and retain highly skilled, mobile workers.

“And the government’s refusal to commit to preserving the rights of all EU citizens currently resident here – while understandable from an administrative and negotiating perspective – means that there will be an extended period of damaging uncertainty for many individuals and their employers.”

Mr Portes, fellow of the initiative, which provides independent research on UK/EU relations, also said the government’s plan to further cut the number of international students in the UK will make the country “less competitive in an important, high-value export sector.”

He added that immigration had been a major driver behind the growth of the UK economy for the last two decades – but especially over the last three years.

“Looking forward, the combination of a slowing economy, the sharp fall in the pound after Brexit, and the psychological impact of the Brexit vote – exacerbated by the strongly anti-immigration tone of the Conservative Party conference – may well lead to a sharp fall in immigration, especially from the EU, even before the Brexit negotiations are properly under way” he said.

With regards to the government’s proposal to welcome skilled foreign workers in the UK, Mr Portes said it wasn’t entirely plausible to assume the UK could have a system that encouraged “only immigrants that have the skills we need” to live in the UK.

“Even if we wish to remain open to skilled migrants from elsewhere in the EU post-Brexit, they may not choose to come here (or remain here),” he said.

Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is for general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional for advice regarding their particular circumstances.
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