The government has recently announced a study of the economic requirement for immigrant workers. According to the Home Secretary’s announcement last week, the government wants to continue to allow those who “benefit us economically, socially and culturally” to come to Britain to live and work, while still aiming to achieve a significant reduction in immigration overall.
This is important and long overdue. There has been some media coverage of the continuing requirement for imported workers in agriculture, horticulture and the NHS, but no systematic analysis of these and other needs.
The care and nursing home sectors are another significant employer of non-UK labour, both in care roles and in nursing. At Cedars Castle Hill, some of our longest-serving staff are from overseas and more have joined us recently in the face of severe shortages of qualified staff in the UK.
The issue of importing manpower, including professional skills, is only one of many areas of our economy which are vulnerable to the unintended consequences of incomplete Brexit plans. Whether individuals voted for or against Brexit, all those who are concerned for our future economic performance should feel relieved that these issues are – at last – beginning to be explored in detail, not in the risible form of sloganised campaigning which both preceded the Brexit vote and has occupied much of the precious time since that vote, which should have been devoted to preparing for an informed and hard-headed negotiation on our terms of departure from the European Union. Let’s hope that this belated outbreak of common sense enables us to get back on track, even at this stage.