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21 May 2021

Comment: UK facing labour shortage as a result of effects of Brexit and Covid-19

2 mins

Vincent Palfi, trainee solicitor in our Immigration, Asylum and Nationality team, has reacted to a recent article published by The Guardian discussing future labour shortages as a result of Brexit and Covid-19.

Industry figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reveal that there has been a sharp decline in the numbers of EU workers. This comes at a time when consumer spending is up as a result of the hospitality and retail sectors reopening following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. This decline is unsurprising as Brexit has now ended the rights of free movement for EU nationals, those who do wish to come to the UK to work are now subject to the same immigration controls as non-EU nationals.

This means that for EU nationals wishing to work in the UK, they must be earning at least £25,600 per year. This will inevitably restrict a vast number of migrants coming from the EU to the UK to work and is likely to seriously damage Britain’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Even individuals who have the right to live in the UK through pre-settled and settled status are facing problems when returning to the UK from abroad. There are a number of worrying reports of EU nationals being detained and questioned for significant lengths of time at airports, despite having the legal right to enter and work in the UK. Any EU nationals concerned about returning to the UK from abroad should try to ensure they have their personal details readily available and should expect to undergo checks by Border Force personnel who are not fully up to speed on the electronic checking system introduced by the Home Office in lieu of biometric residence permits for EU nationals.

For more information about our Immigration, Asylum and Nationality team, please visit our webpage here.

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