City solicitor specialising in business and immigration matters describes decrease in EU net migration as a ‘worrying sign’

Katarzyna (Kate) Boguslawska

Katarzyna (Kate) BoguslawskaA Partner specialising in business and immigration matters at a City of London law firm has described today’s news of a fall in EU net migration as a ‘worrying sign’.

Kate Boguslawska, a Partner at Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, made the comments after figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed net EU migration fell to its lowest level in five years in the year to September 2017.

While 220,000 EU nationals moved to the UK during this period, a total of 130,000 left, leaving EU net migration standing at 90,000 people.

Kate Boguslawska said: “The substantial decrease in EU net migration is a worrying sign.

“This is not mitigated by the increase in the number of overseas students, who will not fill the gaps in the labour market.

“Our clients, who are company owners, are telling us of the recruitment challenges they are already facing, but unfortunately post-Brexit vote Britain seems less appealing to the European workers who are concerned about their future and right to stay here.

“We note that the recently unveiled plans for ‘settled status’ have also met with scepticism and that the workers feel that their future is uncertain. That has a negative impact on companies.

“Our clients worry that Britain will not be able to attract not only ‘talent’ by migrants generally. We have already heard about shortages of migrant workers in health, agriculture and hospitality but the fear is that this problem will soon affect other sectors.

“Some companies are already looking to move headquarters and are opening back offices in other European countries, others are afraid for the future of their businesses.”

She concluded that EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK after Brexit should seek advice on their residency status sooner, rather than later.