Hospitality body slams May's post-Brexit immigration plans, citing labour shortages

Kate Malczewski

Kate Malczewski

03 October 2018

Trade organisation UKHospitality has condemned Theresa May’s post-Brexit immigration policy as unworkable for hospitality businesses, calling the prime minister’s plans ‘illogical’.

The criticism follows May’s announcement yesterday that the UK’s approach to immigration after Brexit will focus on high-skilled migrants, offering no priority to EU citizens.

‘In the wake of today’s immigration policy announcement, we face mounting concerns over the future of the hospitality workforce,’ said UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

‘A system based solely on high skills and high wages will not work for hospitality where we have labour shortages. The sector employs over three million people, many of whom are migrant workers, but under the new policy 90% of these roles could not be filled under planned changes.’

To mitigate the impact on the hospitality sector, UKHospitality is recommending both a transition period to allow businesses to adjust to the new policies, as well as an immigration scheme designed for the industry.

‘We will be pressing the government for a sensible and pragmatic lower skilled migrant worker route for the hospitality sector,’ said Nichols.

Read Michael Butt's take on how Brexit is impacting the hospitality industry here

Related articles


Hospitality chiefs welcome May line on EU workers

Trade bodies have tentatively welcomed indications from the prime minister that EU workers may be able to remain in the UK following Brexit.Theresa Ma


New immigration legislation to negatively impact hospitality industry

Figures from Fourth show new classification from the government of what constitutes ‘low-skilled workers’ is set to hit the industry hard.


Brexit: Immigration row rumbles as trade reacts to new proposals

Leaked government plans to curb the number of unskilled EU migrants coming to the UK after Brexit have been met with concern by the hospitality trade,


Post-Brexit: What the wine merchants are doing

With Christmas fast approaching – the season of drinking and more drinking – London wine merchant Jascots recently made the decision to freeze its pri