ALMR and BBPA welcome positive Brexit news for EU citizens

08/11/2017 - 06:00
Two of the nation’s leading eating and drinking out industry bodies have welcomed yesterday’s (7 November) statement from the Government which suggested most EU citizens will be able to stay in the UK after Brexit.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) called the announcement a “reassurance” for EU nationals employed within the industry, as well as for the industry itself.

Speaking yesterday, Brexit minster David Davis said safeguarding the rights of EU citizens was top of the Government's priority list and that it would “support everyone wishing to stay to gain settled status through a new straightforward, streamlined system.”

The Department for Exiting the European Union and the interior ministry said EU nationals will be given a two-year grace period to apply for settled status after Britain leaves the EU with the cost of application less than the price of a British passport.

Reacting to the statement, ALMR chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “This provides peace of mind for businesses and employees.

“A simple, low cost policy with no discretion for refusals and plenty of time for completion should help provide assurances for eating and drinking out businesses, and their team members, looking to prepare for future growth and investment.”

The future of EU citizens has been a major worry for the industry ever since the UK voted to leave the European Union last year

It is heavily reliant on EU workers with a report from the British Hospitality Association (BHA) estimating that citizens of other EU countries make up as much as a quarter of the three million workers in hospitality.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: “I hope this will provide reassurance to the thousands of EU employees in our industry that they will be welcome in the UK, after Brexit, and that every effort will be made to make the process of gaining settled status as easy as possible.

“They make an essential contribution to the industry, right across the country. It is good to see the Government making it clear that they will be welcome, and pushing the EU to resolve their status as soon as possible in the Brexit negotiations.”

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