The government has announced that EU citizens arriving during the Brexit transition period will have the same rights as those who arrive before Britain’s departure date of 29 March 2019.
The announcement was welcomed by Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality who had long called for clarity to be provided for the industry.
She said: “The plan will provide businesses with more peace of mind and give employers a chance to begin drawing up their plans for their businesses post-Brexit.
“A full right to remain during the transition period with a chance to work towards full status, will provide non-UK EU workers with an opportunity to come to the UK with a sense of security and stability. With a significant portion of the UK’s hospitality workforce coming from outside the UK, this is the clarity and assurance that we have been calling on the Government to deliver.
“The government needs to now communicate this message as widely as possible to reassure businesses and their employees and to make sure that EU citizens are aware of the opportunities that still exist to them. The next step is for the government to begin, in earnest, putting in place the framework for the future immigration policy at the soonest opportunity.”
The government’s latest announcement, described by Brexit secretary David Davis as a “decisive step”, also provided clarity around the length of the transition period, which will extend to 31 December 2020.
It has also been agreed that the UK can will be able to negotiate, sign and ratify trade deals during the transition, while remaining part of existing EU deals.