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Guarantee for EU citizens in UK welcomed

03 July 2017

Following increasing calls for clarification over the rights of EU citizens working in the UK during the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the government's initial attempts to address this have been welcomed.

There have been numerous concerns raised over the skills shortage for industry and business in general, including many within the FM sector.

One of the most recent issues within this is the dramatic reduction in numbers of nurses applying to fill NHS vacancies.

Although the government's offer to guarantee the rights of EU workers within the UK, more effort is required to reassure workers and companies alike, say industry commentators.

At present, EU citizens working in the UK can gain 'permanent residence' after living in the UK for five years, with less certainty for those present for under five years.

The government has said it will provide further guarantees when reciprocal rights for UK citizens working in the EU are agreed.

BSRIA chief executive Julia Evans called for "a bullet-proof, reciprocal guarantee on citizens' rights as soon as possible".

"Individuals and industry cannot be left in a state of uncertainty until the end of the final Brexit agreement," she said.

Ms Evans further stated that uncertainty could make it more difficult for industry to recruit staff within the EU.

"Indeed, the Immigration Bill was outlined in last week's Queen's Speech where it was highlighted that industry certainly needs to be able to attract the 'brightest and best' employees," she said.

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