The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has warned that the hospitality sector could face a shortfall of 60,000 workers every year if immigration from the EU is too tightly controlled. It has warned that the sector faces having to drastically reduce its dependence on EU workers. A study produced by the accountancy firm, KPMG, for the BHA, estimates that it will take around 10 years to reduce the need for EU workers. The study estimates that around 75% of waiting staff in the UK, 37% housekeeping staff and 25% of all chefs are from the EU.
Immigration is likely to be one of the most controversial Brexit issues to be negotiated and the Government has so far been reluctant to reveal any detail as to its plans in this regard. One option being considered is to allow preferential access to EU nationals after Britain leaves the EU. It is clear however that no decisions in this regard have yet been made. A Government spokesman has however confirmed that although free-movement will end, it will be replaced by new immigration systems that is in the “national interest”.