In response to the Prime Minister’s speech in Florence, Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the BHA, said:
"KPMG research, commissioned by the BHA, shows that the hospitality industry, the UK’s fourth largest, is highly reliant on EU workers, with shortfalls of up 1 million workers predicted after 10 years if EU migration was to be curtailed completely so continued freedom of movement during the transition phase is welcome. Registration for EU workers must not be bureaucratic and immigration processes should be welcoming towards new arrivals.
"The BHA has a 10-year strategy to encourage more British workers to enter the hospitality industry and we believe this is how long our industry will need to reduce our reliance on EU workers. There is not a readily available workforce within the UK labour market which can replace our valued EU workers given record low unemployment and an educational system that does not encourage training for recruits to our industry. As these issues cannot be solved in three and a half years, the BHA will argue that the hospitality industry will need continued access to the EU workforce after the transition period – this transition period cannot just be a cliff-edge for migration delayed by 2 years."