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Brexit and the threat to recruiting from the continent

Difficulties in hiring low-skilled workers from a British labour market and ?transitional periods for employees are real concerns for the UK employer not in the EU, ?writes Kathryn Bradbury

19 April 2016

Immigration is once again at the forefront of the political agenda as the EU referendum approaches. In the first quarter of 2015, just over three million EU citizens were recorded as living in the UK, approximately 1.9 million of whom were employed. The potential immigration consequences of a withdrawal from the EU are a subject of concern for employers and EU national employees alike. 

When it comes to hiring individuals, a worker falls into one of three categories: British citizen, EU national, or non-EU national. The latter category requires permission to live and work in the UK from the UK immigration authorities. The benefit of EU free movement is that EU nationals (with the exception of Croatia, which has slightly different restrictions) are currently treated the same as British citizens and enjoy full access to the UK labour market. However, should Britain leave the EU, free movement could be lost and EU nationals might need to satisfy the stringent require...

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