After months of legal wrangling – and a general election – Brexit negotiations finally began on 19 June 2017. Theresa May’s attempt to shore up her parliamentary majority resulted in only weakening her hand, and far from the strong bargaining position for which she had hoped, the United Kingdom does not enter negotiations on a sure footing. Adding to the sense of confusion surrounding Brexit, it has become apparent that more than half the EU skilled workers in Britain will leave the country before Brexit is finalised in 2019, putting further focus on not only the continuing uncertainty of EU nationals’ rights, but also the potential economic damage caused by the impending skills shortage.
EU Skilled Workers in the United Kingdom
According to recent findings, some 56% of EU skilled workers feel that it was ‘highly likely’ or ‘quite likely’ that they would leave the United Kingdom before the conclusion of the Brexit negotiations. The EU skilled workers cited their employment future as a major concern, as they saw a reduction in employment mobility as being one of the consequences of Brexit, along with the loss of their freedom of movement rights. They also foresaw discriminatory hiring practices as being another result of Brexit, with employers no longer viewing EU skilled workers as a worthwhile hire. This perceived discrimination – whether due to employers anticipating difficulties in hiring EU skilled workers or otherwise – has been identified as a key factor in EU skilled workers deciding to leave the United Kingdom before Brexit is enacted.
What Employers Can do for EU Skilled Workers
That such grievances are widely held will not come as a surprise when it is considered that over half of the EU skilled workers surveyed stated that they had not been offered Brexit-related support by their employers. Such support includes anti-discriminatory guidelines and practices, as well as other safeguards to protect staff and their families and allay their fears. This extends to pensions and social security rights as well as job security, with a large proportion of the employees surveyed stating that they had not received any information regarding the former. Given such uncertainty, if employers do not provide support to their EU skilled workers, they could face a significant skills shortage if their employees decide to leave the United Kingdom.
Whilst employers themselves can point to the lack of clarity and direction from the government as being the reason why they are unable to provide support to their employees, it is clear that not doing so will have a negative impact on their staff. In the absence of any direction or leadership from the government as to the future of EU nationals in the United Kingdom, the onus is on employers reliant on EU skilled workers to take the lead and provide guidance and safeguards to their employees. In addition to giving assurances as to the future of their pension or social security rights, this should require employers to review their existing anti-discriminatory frameworks, as well as offer guidance to their employees in terms of how they are able to confirm their status in the United Kingdom. Employers need to reassure their employees that, as long as the United Kingdom remains in the European Union, EU skilled workers are able to exercise their Treaty rights, and they can therefore confirm their status in the United Kingdom through the existing permanent residence or naturalisation routes.
Using Legal Representation to Apply for Residence in the United Kingdom
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to apply for residence in the United Kingdom.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully Apply for Residence in the United Kingdom
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.