NFB: EU migrant rethink for the best
The National Federation of Builders responds to Theresa May's supposed changed stance on the legal position of EU migrants who arrive in the UK during the transition period.
The Times newspaper reported that Theresa May has allegedly changed her stance on the legal position of EU migrants who arrive in the UK during the transition period between 31 March 2019 and 31 December 2020.
The prime minister had previously stated that EU migrants should not have the same rights as those coming before 29 March 2019. However, the Times reported that 10 Downing Street is currently considering proposals to make a unilateral promise to EU citizens that they can remain in the UK if they arrive before the end of 2020.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) would welcome this change of direction, as it will help tackle the existing shortage of skilled construction workers, whilst ensuring the Government has time to build a positive growth environment when the UK leaves the EU.
Red tape, planning costs, and an inefficient procurement process remain major barriers to industry growth. Policies tackling these barriers have either not been fully implemented yet - in the case of the Housing White Paper - or tackled, such as reforming the planning process or stronger action on late payments.
A transitional period without the benefits of migration would put undue pressure on our industries and the Government, who will need time to plan for changes.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “Construction SMEs train and retain 66% of apprentices. The increased focus on policies to help them is a step in the right direction for the skills crisis. Our industry needs to foster home-grown talent, as well as talented foreign workers.
“The Government needs to continue addressing growth barriers in the UK industry. In construction, procurement remains an unfair playing field, late payments continue blighting our industry and planning reform is long overdue.”