Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond has offered an olive branch to the City, signalling that highly skilled workers, including bankers and business people, will be exempt from any Government initiatives to curb immigration after Britain leaves the EU.
This will cause a sigh of relief for employers and investors, who rely on the free movement of highly-skilled workers from the EU to manage and grow their business.
When asked how he would respond to the paper dispatched by the Japanese Government on Sunday, warning of the serious consequences Britain would face if Brexit threatened the stability of the global economy, Mr Hammond responded:
“It’s clearly in our interests, and I would suggest the European Union’s interest as well, to have as free and open access to each other’s markets… but we cannot accept uncontrolled free movement of people – that’s the political outcome of the referendum decision that was made.
I don’t think that needs to strike fear into the heart of Japanese financial institutions because I would expect, due to the control that we would have over movement of people, we would use it in a sensible way that would certainly facilitate the movement of highly skilled people between financial institutions and businesses in order to support investment in the UK economy – that would certainly be my expectation.”
Mr Hammond added that the economic impact of the vote to quit the EU had been “considerably less severe” than the Bank of England had expected but warned there were likely to be ups and downs over the coming years. He told the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee:
“There are very good reasons to think that it is in the interests of the overall economies of the European Union countries, as well as the UK economy, that London, as Europe’s financial centre, remains broadly as it is.
The structures that we have in London, its very complex eco-system of banks, funds, insurance companies, law firms, business services firms, would not and could not be replicated anywhere else.
To break it up or to try to damage it in the pursuit of some very narrow and hypothetical national advantage would be a huge mistake for any of our European Union partners to follow.
I genuinely believe that London delivers not only for the UK but for the European Union as a whole.”
The Chancellor’s comments seem to suggest that the British Government has finally realised that overseas investors, entrepreneurs and employers do not want to deal with the red-tape associated with having to apply for a Tier 1 Sponsor Licence, and then issue work permits each time they want to recruit a highly skilled EU national.
Trying to recruit talent from outside the EU is complex and costly enough for businesses.
OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK. If you need advice on Permanent Residence Cards, applying for British Citizenship, Tier 1 Sponsor Licenses or UK Investor/Entrepreneur Visas please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our dedicated immigration solicitors.