A number of business leaders have warned that plans to cut the number of low-skilled migrants coming to the UK from the European Union could lead to higher prices.
The Institute of Directors, the Confederation of British Industry and the British Chambers of Commerce are concerned that plans to limit migration after the official Brexit from the EU cold also harm UK businesses. Under the changes, people travelling from Europe may be required to have a UK visa to do so.
The Institute of Directors said that businesses were being stopped from planning for the future because of the current uncertainty over the Government’s plans for the future.
The Institute’s head of employment and skills policy, Seamus Nevin, told The Independent: “Government must be careful in reducing low-skilled immigration as those sectors that do need low-skilled migrants are very important to the British public.
“Cleaners, hospital careworkers in the NHS and agricultural workers who pick the food on our shelves all play an important role in our economy. Reducing their numbers by too much would cause problems for our healthcare system, hurt British businesses, and increase prices for British shoppers."
The business groups spoke out as the neutral think-tank Open Europe said that unless banks located in London received clarity their continued passporting rights that will allow them continued access to EU financial markets, they were likely to start moving out of the capital as early as next year.
It said: “If banks ... were still unclear about what the future holds one year before the UK formally exits the EU, they would be forced to start making decisions – including over whether to shift part of their business elsewhere. Some firms may well start implementing their contingency plans even earlier than that.”