back to article CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme

Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme to recruit and retain overseas talent in a post-Brexit Britain. The call from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) came as it emerged that European Union citizens have started to look to countries other than Britain to take up working positions. CBI deputy …

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  1. Fat_Tony

    "Ministers last year spoke of UK employers needing to maintain lists of foreign workers and last week of an annual £1,000 tax per EU citizen they employ."

    Expect more and more of these ideas from the government - they won't seem so crazy after enough of them are floated and one or two of them might slip by unnoticed by the public (a bit like the investigatory powers act and section 40).

    1. big_D Silver badge

      I hope not, I have some European friends living and working in the UK. Also, what happens to people like me? UK citizens living and working in the EU?

      Tit-for-tat? I hope not.

      I'm married to a German and I am looking at getting German citizenship, if the worst comes to worst.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        dual nationality

        I'm struggling to think of a downside to a backup eu nationality. I meet the criteria for Irish citizenshipt.

        Cost?

        UK security clearance (not sure of impact)?

        Anything obvious I am missing?

        1. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: dual nationality

          I've worked with Irish nationals on contracts requiring a security clearance. However you won't be able to work on some types of projects. I can't see that it limits your work potential much. Work that cannot be done by dual nationals is comparatively rare.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: dual nationality

            I don't run a clearance process, and I'm pretty sure there won't be a problem with something like SC, after all lots of EU citizens work on SC cleared projects (we couldn't make the numbers they did not, and as far as I an tell, most of that is establishing that you are who you say you are and don't have any particularly egregious skeletons hanging around the closet).

            Above that I am not so sure except possibly on a very tightly controlled project by project basis?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: dual nationality

          Yup, no need to maintain clearance made it an easy option to take up (as have my children)

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: dual nationality

          I'm struggling to think of a downside to a backup eu nationality. I meet the criteria for Irish citizenshipt.

          If the country you are in requires you to give up your British nationality to get the other one (not Ireland, and in any case you could probably decamp there without the need to get Irish nationality because of the CTA and similar arrangements), and you do it officially by renouncing your nationality using the Home Office form to do that, you are at the whim of the Home Office if you want to get your British nationality back after renouncing it.

          You are generally allowed to get it back once after renouncing it, but these are interesting times. where EU citizens are being told to pack their bags even though they still have every right to have permanent residence in the UK or apply for British citizenship.

        4. shawn.grinter

          Re: dual nationality

          Me too - I think you have to jump through a few hoops re residency and hand over 1000 Euro, otherwise I'll be in the queue behind you!

          Regards,

          Shawn

      2. Lotaresco Silver badge

        "I'm married to a German and I am looking at getting German citizenship, if the worst comes to worst."

        You are Prince Phillip and I claim my five pounds.

        1. Valerion

          You are Prince Phillip and I claim my five pounds.

          I think actually he's Nigel Farage

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I am looking at getting German citizenship, if the worst comes to worst.

        IMO your ability to resist including a "wurst comes to the wurst" joke suggests that may indeed be the best strategy for you. :-)

    2. Dr Stephen Jones

      Or not...

      The list idea was abandoned without even being explored. Red meat for the Tory Conference.

      But don't let facts get in the way of a good moan.

  2. nsld
    Facepalm

    It will be horrific

    Having had the joy of looking after tier 2 visa apps in my last job the paperwork alone will cripple business. Add in a £1000 tax per person and all those foreign language roles needed for a global trading economy will move to the EU.

    How we expect to trade globally with a deficit of language speakers is going to be the big question, unless we expect everyone to speak English when they buy our innovative jams!

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: It will be horrific

      £1000 tax on foreign employees means that the financial industries will be fine - but you're going to have to dig your own potatoes.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: It will be horrific

        "you're going to have to dig your own potatoes."

        There'll be enough unemployed natives looking for seasonal work.

        1. fruitoftheloon
          Happy

          @Doctor Syntax: Re: It will be horrific

          DS,

          evidence from local acquaintances (in middle of Devon) who have farms 'n stuff doesn't bode well, apparently the locals are basically to f'ing lazy and work shy to actually get up each morning and pull veggies out of the ground.

          Seasonal EU labour is much more reliable by all accounts!

          My ha'penny.

          Jay

          1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: @Doctor Syntax: It will be horrific

            "apparently the locals are basically to f'ing lazy and work shy to actually get up each morning and pull veggies out of the ground."

            That's one way of putting it.

            My experience is that unskilled agricultural laborers are treated like stock. You get driven to the field in a cattle wagon, you have to work fast and accurately whilst freezing your tits off, and you get called a lazy PoS if you suggest that maybe they should follow even the most basic of safety rules or have work breaks more than once every four hours.

            Much the same as hospitality manages to flaunt labor and H+S rules, and if you disagree you get shown the door, there is a cultural acceptance of a way of working that most people find a tad dickensian. I've also found that if there is even a whiff of a union or basic knowledge of labor rights it is a very good way to get your hours cut to zero.

            In defence of farmers, since I've got plenty of friends and family who are, they have one of the hardest jobs out there, and they expect much the same of their staff.

            Oh, and whatever happens wrt brexit, seasonal EU labor is hear to stay. The laborers just don't get to. Stay that is. Just make sure they are shipped in and out each year, and May can say they aren't immigrants.

            1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

              Re: @Doctor Syntax: It will be horrific

              Just make sure they are shipped in and out each year, and May can say they aren't immigrants.

              Who told you that the Eu will not throw a spanner of its own in these works. They are aware that the employers of said seasonal labor constitute the core membership and electorate of Teresa May's party. If they want to start returning favors they will definitely find a way to throw a spanner in the works here (like taxing them seasonal labor exported to the UK on the Eu side NI and Mandatory Health Insurance. If there is no declared income, tax a fixed fee). That will make any such labor prohibitively expensive overnight while hitting and hurting specifically core BrExit sponsors and electorate. If you think that the Eu is not pissed off enough start pondering such ideas...

              1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Unhappy

                " find a way to throw a spanner in the works here "

                And note it does not stop free movement of people. It just de-incentivises them from coming.

                Now if only the Home Office had proved as creative they could have stopped the situation in its tracks.

          2. Lotaresco Silver badge

            Re: @Doctor Syntax: It will be horrific

            "evidence from local acquaintances (in middle of Devon) who have farms 'n stuff doesn't bode well, apparently the locals are basically to f'ing lazy and work shy to actually get up each morning and pull veggies out of the ground."

            I was up in Wakefield not so long ago working on an IT contract and had meals in a local pub. One evening there was a local bloke going on and one about how "The Polish" had stolen his job at a nearby farm. He hadn't realised the farmer was at the bar.

            The farmer turned round and gave him an identical speech to the one above mentioned that the wages were paid fairly and equally and said the guy could have his job back next day if he wanted. All he had to do was to turn up on time, arrive sober and do a day's work. Much swearing and the bloke ran from the bar. I bet he wasn't at work the next day.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "All he had to do was to turn up on time, arrive sober and do a day's work."

              And work the full shift.

              A friend of mine worked for a UK temp agency in the West Midlands He sent 8 temps to a specialty bread factory one night. Most of the staff were a mix of Poles, Portugese, Romanians, Hungarians etc.

              4 of the temps did not last a single 12 hour shift. The youngest and biggest Brit of the group was the first to walk off the job.

              When Brits say they want "British jobs for British workers" they mean well paying, enjoyable, undemanding jobs that someone with no experience can do that pay about 2x the minimum wage at least.

              I'm starting to suspect a large part of the leave vote was this group.

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: "All he had to do was to turn up on time, arrive sober and do a day's work."

                Morning after the vote I found myself chatting in a Tesco car park with someone overjoyed at the vote. British jobs etc. When I pointed out that these were mostly low paid, hard jobs his response was that the bosses would have to pay more now and so on. Did he fit John Smith 19's description? I'd say so..

                1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                  Unhappy

                  "that the bosses would have to pay more now and so on."

                  You wouldn't believe the UK actually has a minimum wage level that all staff have to be paid, would you?

                  What I think is more likely is that the DWP will become more pushy about requiring people to take such a job if they haven't found something for themselves.

                  My friends experience was not that the jobs did not exist, it's that white British people would not do them. He would not speculate on why that was.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Doctor Syntax: It will be horrific

            When you mentioned the folk in Devon and elsewhere who have farms and locals too lazy and work shy, i finally saw the cunning plan! The reason behind all those "Vote Leave" cards by the roadside before the referendum, particularly in the (Great) English Countryside, was the deep thinking that, once we're out of the EU and stop this cheap labour coming, this will shake the local population of workshys to the point that they will actually create a run for the jobs (previously) only taken by less-shy foreign labour! And to think that I was so stupid to assume they voted leave because 300 milion per week for NHS and no more bloody foreigners to clog up our schools and Britain Great Again, etc...

        2. Anonymous Blowhard

          Re: It will be horrific

          "There'll be enough unemployed natives looking for seasonal work."

          Not unless the government slashes benefits; but once the right-wing shouting-machine has exhausted the possibility of blaming the UK's problems (what exactly were they BTW?) on immigrants the unemployed should make a good target...

        3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: It will be horrific

          " "you're going to have to dig your own potatoes."

          There'll be enough unemployed natives looking for seasonal work."

          If there where such natives, then there wouldn't be the need for migrant labor in the first place.

          It's incredibly naive to think that by blocking one source of cheap labor migrants, that somehow the local labor force will suddenly decide to pick up the slack, rather than there will be migrants from other countries instead.

    2. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Re: It will be horrific

      Don't worry about the paperwork - embrace the opportunity. With all of our foreign trade needing customs paperwork after we exit Single Market there will be upswing in employment prospects for those high paid form filling jobs.

      MGBGA ! hmm, doesn't slip off the tongue like the Trump slogan. Just sounds like a 1960s sports car. Another great British industry crushed by jackboots of EU etc etc (that was sarcasm by the way)

    3. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: It will be horrific

      "unless we expect everyone to speak English when they buy our innovative jams!"

      And all those other wonderful products that we can sell to the world. Why the Shepton Mallet International Antiques fair is positively full of items to be sold to the gullible septics American connoisseurs of fine English craftsmanship.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It will be horrific

        I'm not convinced they do speak English in Shepton Mallet...

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: It will be horrific

          "I'm not convinced they do speak English in Shepton Mallet..."

          True - but then it's not quite as bad as Chard....

          1. Lotaresco Silver badge

            Re: It will be horrific

            "it's not quite as bad as Chard...."

            I was in Shepton Mallet when Kim Howells, Minister for Culture, made his ill-judged comment about the worst thing he could think of was being trapped in a pub in Shepton Mallet with a folk act consisting of four blokes in hairy jumpers. That evening in a pub four blokes in hairy jumpers got on stage and said "This next one's for Kim Howells."

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: It will be horrific

              @Lotaresco

              He probably meant to say Shepton Mallet Prison, but come to think of it I'm not sure it makes a difference...

        2. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: It will be horrific

          "I'm not convinced they do speak English in Shepton Mallet..."

          Have an upvote.

          Meanwhile... WTAF downvotes a joke? Butthurt Brexiter?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It will be horrific

            Wasn't me...but I do dislike the use of the colloquialism butthurt ever so much. Its like when the word "gay" was used to express dislike or suggest something is stupid.

            Gosh I feel old. Do I sound old?

            1. Lotaresco Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: It will be horrific

              "but I do dislike the use of the colloquialism butthurt ever so much"

              Do you? How terrible! WTAF does it have to do with "gay"?

              I'm probably older than you and got butthurt on regular basis because the school had an ethos of "flog em" for every minor infringement of school rules or expectations.

              I suspect the association you are making is in your own head, not mine.

              "Do I sound old?"

              No, you sound like someone in their 30s who thinks that constantly complaining that other people aren't living up to your high ethical standards is a way of making yourself look "nice".

      2. Timmy B Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: It will be horrific

        Have one on me for mentioning Shepton Mallet...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Register Think Tank

    Let in anyone who can get a job but tax employers a small percent of the wages of foreign workers. Make the employer responsible for the foreign workers conduct and wellbeing.

    Gives a small advantage to British citizens but doesn't prevent employers from getting the skills they need if not available locally.

    Tax can be used to skill up local workers and audit the employers..

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: The Register Think Tank

      Make the employer responsible for the foreign workers conduct and wellbeing.

      It would be interesting to see that idea applied to British citizens in the EU. Come to think of it, why don't we test it out on football fans first?

    2. fruitoftheloon
      Stop

      @AC: Re: The Register Think Tank

      Dear AC,

      out of interest, what is the ratio of UK/EU/other nationals in the business that you run??

      Just wondered...

    3. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: The Register Think Tank

      " tax employers a small percent of the wages of foreign workers"

      Sounds pretty much like the EU customs union, tax foreign labour (by way of tariffs) for the benefit of local labour.

      I would like to think the downvotes came from brexiteers who see this as folly but I expect they are all from remoaners who are morons with so little understanding of what they support.

  4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Sensible? That's new.

    I don't see much hope for this, "sensible" hasn't had a lot of airplay recently - the entire brexit thing appears to be emotionally driven with anyone pointing out the downsides of brexit accused of treachery or worse.

    1. astrax

      Re: Sensible? That's new.

      "It's increased the pressure on us in the amount of work we need to do and increasingly the challenge we have in attracting the talent."

      Apparently, there are talented, highly-skilled engineers, technologists and scientists springing up in south Asia and the south Americas in droves. Not too difficult to attract at least a few of them with a fair immigration policy that doesn't make non-EU nationals feel like second class citizens.

      1. Pete4000uk

        Re: Sensible? That's new.

        Exactly. There is a world of skilled people we should be trying to recruit, instead of just taking any so say 'unskilled' workers from across the EU.

        I would just like to say, I find eastern European women very attractive. Just sayin'.

    2. Toltec

      Re: Sensible? That's new.

      Anyone backing brexit is acused of being racist, one side used lies the other FUD, come to think of it both used both. There is a disconnect between the campaigns and people that made their vote for sensible personal reasons, whichever way they voted.

      Being sensible is not newsworthy, only the extreme views are published because it sells and can be used to reinforce the publishers viewpoint.

      I'll probably get downvoted by all of extremists now...

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Pint

        @Toltec:Re: Sensible? That's new.

        Toltec,

        have one on me (I voted leave btw).

        Cheers,

        Jay

      2. Yugguy

        Re: Sensible? That's new.

        Most sensible comment I've read.

        Do you Reggers REALLY think that once A50 is triggered we will "send them all home"?

        Maybe, just possibly, given that everyone wants to keep on trading, we will work things out and people will still be able to come and work here?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme

    while voters want them bloody foreigners taking away OUR jobs - out, out, OUT!

    Aren't we the nation of developers, hi-tech hub of the world, cool Britania v 2.0?!!

    We don't need no Romanians to build our roads! We don't need no Poles to polish our... er... everything! Or eat our swans, pick our fruit and set up their little shitty shops in OUR towns. Or develop OUR software, right?!

    What we need is a big WALL to make everybody respect us, and fear us, and make us GREAT agin!

    And as to the EU, well, we fart in your general direction!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. astrax

      Re: Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme

      Maybe, just maybe, some people voted to leave the EU because of reasons other than immigration? Oh no, that can't possibly be true as it is very clear we are a nation of 17 million+ of xenophobes (oh, and chuck racist in there too because why the f*** not?).

      You don't see the irony in demonising every single person who voted Leave? It's incredibly bigoted, almost fascist perspective that only serves to divide our society (yes, take special note of the critical "our" in that sentence) even further. Shame on you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme

        "You don't see the irony in demonising every single person who voted Leave?"

        After all you wouldn't want to emulate the right-wing tabloids and their attitudes to Remain voters, immgrants, followers of certain religions, etc.

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