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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber reacts to Government’s no-deal free movement announcement

Following the Government’s announcement that EU free movement rules will end immediately in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said:

“Immigration control is clearly an important issue and it is encouraging that Government specifically mentions a focus on skills in relation to a post-EU immigration system in the UK.

“However from a business perspective this announcement represents something of a U-turn in a Brexit process where certainty – so important to allow businesses to plan – has been at a premium.

“Under Theresa May’s premiership businesses were given a clear message that freedom of movement wouldn’t end, certainly not in the short term, and have been planning on that basis; that appears now to not be the case.

“Add to this the perennial issue businesses face in employing people with the requisite skills – and the effect an immediate retraction of EU freedom of movement could have on the pool of talent available – and you build a picture of businesses being continually hamstrung by a lack of certainty which has gone on far too long.

“We urge Government to listen to the ongoing concerns of businesses, address the issues they are facing on the ground and support them with joined-up thinking and clarity of thought to minimise disruption – whatever Brexit finally looks like.”