In a highly anticipated speech earlier this year, Prime Minister Theresa May made clear that the U.K. will exit the EU’s single market. Following this so-called “hard Brexit,” citizens from the remaining EU nations will no longer have an automatic “right to work” in the U.K.
Providing access to critical skills and a capable workforce are critical to attracting investment in a country. The U.K. government knows this. As it exits the EU’s single market, the U.K. must remain an attractive country for workers inside and outside its own borders.
In my opinion, the U.K. will meet this challenge. Britain has been a trade-oriented, internationally focused economy for hundreds of years and this will not change. The challenge for the government is to place sensible controls around net migration while supporting local businesses to attract and hire talented people from the EU and beyond.
Many assume that slowing the number of immigrants into the U.K. will strangle its economy. Indeed, during consultation, the government will be keenly aware that policymakers and industry leaders will want to protect the U.K.’s economic engine. While Brexit will almost certainly lead to a shortage of workers in some areas, it is hard to imagine the government will not continue to welcome the labor required to power growth.
Read the full blog article to see some U.K. immigration-related changes I foresee.