Abta has warned the UK’s proposed new skills and immigration reforms will likely have a “very damaging effect” on travel businesses reliant on EU workers.
The government set out on Tuesday (18 February) its vision for post-Brexit immigration policy, proposing not to offer so-called low-skilled workers visas under the new system.
Under a new points-based immigration system, the Home Office said employers would be encouraged to move away from “cheap” European labour and instead focus on retaining and developing existing staff.
Under the proposed new rules, EU and non-EU citizens would be treated equally once free movement between the UK and EU ends on 31 December.
“It will give top priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents, including scientists, engineers and academics,” said the Home Office.
However, Abta said the arrangements would place 15,000 travel roles reliant on the EU Posted Workers Directive – the rules allowing firms to station reps and other support staff overseas while remaining subject to British social security mechanisms – at risk.