The UK Trade and Business Commission had a big win this week.
Last month, the Commission visited Dover to see the effects of Brexit on the ground. They went to Winterwood farms in Maidstone, where they saw how post-Brexit labour shortages were leading to extraordinary amounts of food waste.
Based on what they had seen, the Commission wrote to the Government about the issues. I am very pleased to say the Government has this week announced opening up 10,000 new farming visas, demonstrating the way our Commissioners’ work is improving economic and immigration outcomes.
This is a big win for us - but the Government must do more.
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Farming is far from the only sector affected by labour shortages. As anyone who has been caught up in recent airport delays knows sectors like hospitality and travel are desperately in need of more workers in order to be able to meet shortfalls and demand.
The UK cut itself off from the European labour market, and so far ‘controlling our borders’ has had no obvious upsides but a serious number of downsides.
While the Government’s action on farming visas is very welcome, a piecemeal approach is not going to work in response to the labour crisis Brexit has created.
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