UK To Fast Track Working Visas For EU Citizens While Those Refused Residence Permits Face Deportation!
UK To Fast Track Working Visas For EU Citizens While Those Refused Residence Permits Face Deportation
- Fast track temporary working visas
- Deportation set for EU overstayers
- Over 1 million job vacancies in the UK
- Reed Employment website is advertising 300,000 job vacancies
- 100,000 lorry drivers needed in UK, but 400,000 in required in Europe
- 500,000 agricultural and food worker jobs vacant with few willing takers
As the continuing UK lorry driver and staffing shortage is forcing the Home Office to fast track work visas for European workers, some EU nationals living here could be deported.
EU citizens refused the right to remain in the UK should leave the country and if they don’t, they will be kicked out, according to a British Government Minister.
Immigration Minister Kevin Foster told Italian newspaper La Repubblica in an interview published Saturday that “EU nationals who have been refused status, and who remain in the country, will be in the UK illegally.”
He added: “We expect people to leave the country voluntarily” and if they do not, immigration officials “will seek to enforce their departure.”
The UK has granted around 5.4 million EU citizens the right to stay in the country. “As of 31 August 2021, there are around 400,000 applications pending an outcome,” Foster said.
“Those with reasonable grounds for missing the deadline [to apply to leave to remain in the UK] are still able to apply,” the minister added. “We have built-in safeguards to protect those who have not yet applied, but who may still be eligible which means everybody will be able to get the status they deserve.”
However, the country has been struggling to fill gaps in the labour market, especially in the trucking and food sectors, which has led to shortages of food on supermarket shelves, according to the Food and Drink Federation. On Saturday, the British government confirmed that it’s considering more flexible visa rules for truckers, according to the Financial Times.
Foster denied that there is a link between the shortages and immigration. “We do not accept the points-based system is the key cause of labour shortages in the UK, not least because we can see similar scarcities across the EU, specifically in areas like hospitality and truck driving,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that Home Secretary Priti Patel is refusing to consider allowing asylum seekers to work following a public intervention from her cabinet colleague Dominic Raab to say that he would be “open-minded’ about the proposal.
MPs on both sides of the house joined refugee charities in a bid to persuade the Home Office to allow 70,000 current benefit claimants to take up employment after the Justice Secretary said a rule change could help to solve the UK’s current labour shortage.
There are currently over a million job vacancies in Britain. At the same time, over a million people are claiming unemployment benefit, five million people on universal credit benefit and another million workers coming off the job retention furlough scheme which closed at the end of September.
In theory the country has enough people to fill the job vacancies, but will they have the right skills?
Temporary work visas will be issued to 300 overseas fuel drivers “immediately”, the government has just announced.
Under the special scheme, foreign drivers will be allowed to work in the UK until the end of March in addition to 4,700 foreign food haulage drivers to be offered work permits from October to the end of February.
Despite the move, the government said temporary visas were not a long-term solution and urged firms to invest in a British workforce.
Ministers have also extended the length of temporary visas being issued to 5,500 foreign poultry workers, to head off a shortage of Christmas turkeys in supermarket.
Temporary visas were previously expected to last until Christmas Eve but have now been extended by a week until 31 December.
Will the new temporary visas be enough to attract EU workers?
The answer is, probably not.
Firstly, there is a also shortage of 400,000 drivers and other workers in Europe.
Secondly, the UK visas are temporary, not even lasting a year, with no guarantee of a permanent job or long-term residence. As one Polish employment specialist put it in a TV news interview: “Why would a skilled HGV driver quit a permanent job to come and work in the UK for three months?”
Finally, according to many retiring and former drivers, pay and conditions will need to improve to attract British and overseas drivers back into lorries.
Unfortunately, haulage prices have been driven into the ground to satisfy our lust for cheap goods leaving little room for higher wages.
Increased red tape and government interference have not helped. It now takes longer than ever to get a driver licenced and on the road, and HMRC changes to IR35 tax rules have made it financially unattractive for freelance operators.
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