Prime Minister must ‘show leadership’ on EU migrants’ right to remain – says TUC and British Chambers of Commerce

TUC and BCC heads send joint letter to Theresa May on EU migrants’ right to remain
‘Bold unilateral move’ on right to remain is right move for workers, businesses and economy

The TUC and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have today (18 December 2016) published an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on her to end the uncertainty for workers and businesses by confirming that the government will give current EU migrants a right to remain after Brexit.

The letter, from TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady and BCC Director General Adam Marshall, says that the Prime Minister should make this commitment unilaterally as it is both morally right and also in the interests of the British economy. It will also send a signal of goodwill to the EU that will benefit the UK’s negotiating position.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This uncertainty is hugely worrying for working people and their families who have made Britain their home.

“It’s the right thing to do. But it’s also about what is right for Britain too. Continued doubt about the status of workers from the rest of the EU is bad for business, and it puts services like the NHS at risk.

“The government must also crack down on the minority of employers who exploit migrants and undercut wages in the local community”

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: “Business communities across the UK are deeply frustrated that ministers have declined to guarantee the residence rights of their EU employees and colleagues. Some firms are already losing key members of staff due to this avoidable uncertainty.

“It is within the government’s gift to give an early Christmas present to businesses and employees across the country, and make an unequivocal commitment that EU citizens currently working here will have a permanent right to remain in the UK. Such a move before the start of a complex Brexit negotiation would be bold, but it is the right thing to do for the individuals affected, for the businesses that employ them, and for the economy as a whole.”

18 December 2016

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