Certainty for farmers as Home Office clarifies immigration policy

The Home Office has issued new guidance on immigration policy post Brexit, confirming there will be no change to the rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members living in the UK until 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Initially the Home Office said EU citizens rights would end immediately should there be a no-deal Brexit in October, but following threats of legal challenges it has changed its guidance.

Responding to the Home Office’s clarification on its immigration policy post-Brexit, NFU President Minette Batters said: “Farmers and growers across the country will be relieved to have much-needed certainty on how they will recruit workers from the EU after 31 October.

“I heard from alarmed farm businesses across the country who feared ending freedom of movement immediately after Brexit would cut off a critical supply of people coming to work in essential roles across British food and farming, causing untold impacts on farm and the supply chain.  

“The NFU raised these concerns at two meetings with the Home Secretary in recent weeks, and it is welcome news that we have been heard and businesses now have much-needed clarity.

“However, questions still remain about the UK’s future immigration policy and it is essential that this is fit for purpose and based on business need, reflecting the importance of both permanent and seasonal workers to the industry.”

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