Scotland to ‘tweak’ UK Tier 2 work permits to keep EU migrants

21 Jul 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Experts at the University of Edinburgh have drawn up a Tier 2 work permit proposal with a view to keeping EU immigrants to remain within the country.

According to the authors of the proposal, the plan will be based on a design to impose fewer restrictions on lower-skilled immigrants post-Brexit compared to the rest of the UK.

The current Tier 2 work permit and visa scheme will apply to EU nationals when Britain leaves the European Union, with some suggesting it could impact the job market across a number of industries.

Specifically, the plan would seek to preserve the intake level of low-skilled EU workers, which are vital to many of Scotland’s key industries including food processing, hospitality and tourism, particularly when it comes to seasonal and temporary work.

In fact, recent figures published in the paper found that around one in five staff members at hotels in Scotland have arrived in Britain from abroad and are working using a UK visa.

As a result, the paper’s authors, led by Professor Christina Boswell, have suggested that the UK’s current Tier 2 work permit system should be altered to make it possible for low-skilled workers from the EU to fill vacancies across Scotland, while preventing political agenda from increasing the impact of immigration changes on the country.

“There are a number of promising channels for meeting Scotland’s needs which do not require a radical overhaul of current arrangements.”

“The challenges in realising them reflect the heat of the debate on immigration more than the practical difficulties of implementing them.”