The Department for Exiting the European Union and the interior ministry said on Tuesday (7 November) that around 3.2 million EU nationals currently in the UK will be given a two-year grace period to apply for settled status after Brexit.
In a new working paper released before the next round of Brexit talks tomorrow (9 November), it was stated that the cost of application will not exceed the cost of a British passport, and applicants from the EU will be given statutory right of appeal if they are denied settled status.
According to Government statistics, approximately 150,000 EU nationals currently work in the UK’s pubs, bars, and restaurants – the second highest number of any industry, behind only the NHS, and the fifth highest by proportion of the overall workforce.
"Peace of mind"
In response to the Government’s announcement, Kate Nicholls, CEO of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, commented: “This announcement, particularly the Brexit Secretary’s comment that the Government will ‘…support everyone wishing to stay to gain settled status through a new straightforward, streamlined system’ 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.”
"Reassurance to thousands"
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, commented: “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 they will be welcome, and pushing the EU to resolve their status as soon as possible in the Brexit negotiations.”
Mike Clist, CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping commented:“We are delighted that Government have made this announcement today and hope the thousands of Europeans working in our pubs are reassured by the fact they will be welcome to remain in the UK for a minimum of two years post-Brexit.
"During those two years they will have the chance to gain settled status and thus continue to make the great contribution they do to our industry.”
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