Brexit minister David Davis has taken steps to reassure EU workers already living in the country that they will still be welcome in a post-Brexit UK.
Davis told lawmakers that EU employees would be able to remain in Britain as long as other countries provided the same conditions to British expats.
The minister, speaking to the House of Commons, said: “The prime minister is determined to protect the status of EU workers already here.”
Davis, who was appointed Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union in July, continued by saying: “Brexit isn’t about making the best of a bad job. It is about seizing the huge and exciting opportunities that will flow from a new place for Britain in the world. There will be new freedoms, new opportunities, new horizons for our country.”
This was Davis’ first statement to the Commons on how the UK will logistically handle Brexit, and the news will come as welcome reassurance to many – as according to a recent survey from the British Chambers, 41% of UK companies say EU employees living and working in Britain have expressed some concern over the status of their residency.
This follows a weekend of protests where thousands marched in London, and there were calls for the government to temporarily put the brakes on the formal process that will result in leaving the EU. However, pro-Brexit demonstrators were also in full force with a counter-protest against the possible delay.
On Monday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May threw another potential spanner in the works by stating Britain would not be adopting the points-based immigration system previously advocated by many campaigning for Brexit. The system was similar to Canada’s Federal Skilled Workers programme, which awards points to potential skilled workers based on education, skills, age and other factors.
As Brexit speculation continues, everyone is set to look towards the House of Lords tomorrow, where evidence will be reviewed on the potential impact Brexit will have on the financial services industry – which will greatly affect the state of the British economy as a whole.