Friday 20 September 2019

Banks in UK to call for 'special visa waiver for workers'

Theresa May. Photo: PA
Theresa May. Photo: PA

Global banks in Britain are calling for a special work visa waiver after Brexit to preserve the City of London's standing as a top global financial centre, two industry sources said.

The finance industry is demanding a new system where international staff posted to Britain for less than six months will be able to come and go freely without having to apply for a work visa before they travel, the sources said. The report has been shared with the Home Office and Treasury and is the most detailed request yet by Britain's finance industry to the government about how it wants immigration policy to look after Brexit.

The document is due to be formally unveiled in 10 days' time at an event where the immigration minister Caroline Nokes is due to give a keynote speech. The government is expected to outline its future immigration rules later this year. Bankers' demand for special exemptions potentially puts the industry, still scorned by Britons since the financial crisis, on a collision course with large swaths of the public.

The sector is concerned that after Brexit, EU nationals who want to work in Britain will face the same inflexible "caps" or numerical curbs that non-EU nationals already face, the sources said.


Supply chains to be mapped

The UK government has asked business groups to map their supply chains to flag the areas of the economy most at risk if Brexit imposes additional trading costs on exporters, two people familiar with the matter said.

Once the UK has left the trading bloc, even if the EU and UK agree for their bilateral trade to remain tariff-free, the bloc is likely to want proof of the origin of products to ensure that cheap components from other nations aren't using Britain as a back-door to bypass EU tariffs.


'Focus' required, says BAE

BAE Systems chairman Roger Carr, one of the highest-profile campaigners for Britain to stay in the EU before the 2016 referendum, called on UK companies to make the best of Brexit regardless of their views on the impending schism.

Carr is working to ensure that London-based BAE, Europe's biggest defence company, is prepared for the challenges of a split from the EU.

"The process remains challenging and uncertain in terms of the outcome, but the business community has got to remain focused on its job," he said after an investor meeting.


Sunday Indo Business

Also in Business