UKHospitality calls for clarity on immigration and taxes

UKHospitality is asking for more detail about how immigration and taxes will work after the UK’s departure from the European Union next March, writes Neil Gerrard.

The forum for hospitality and tourism businesses urged the government to supply more information on a range of issues including immigration, taxes and tariffs in order to avoid a rise in costs for businesses.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls (pictured) said: “The government has made some valuable progress in ensuring that the sector has some clarity, particularly around the issue of employment. Employers and EU citizens now understand the process by which they will be able to apply for settled status and reassurances that the process will be affordable.

“We still need to see some more clarity on wider issues, particularly a future immigration system that gives the sector access to the talent it needs.

“We are also looking for some much-needed information on future taxes, tariffs, and customs and regulations procedures that will need to be put in place and reassurances that future trade will be smooth and avoid increasing costs for businesses.”

Her comments came after the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) published two dozen “real-world” questions being asked by businesses around the UK about Brexit.

It warned that uncertainty following June’s European Council summit was causing a “significant slowdown in business investment”.

Adam Marshall, BCC director general, said: “Over the past two years, businesses have been patient.

“Now, with the time running out ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU, business patience is reaching breaking point.

“With less than nine months go to until Brexit day, we are little closer to the answers businesses need than we were the day after the referendum.”

A UK government spokesperson said: “We’re confident of getting a good deal with the EU to ensure trade remains as free and frictionless as possible.

“Ministers continue to work closely with business to understand their concerns, and by successfully negotiating the implementation period with the EU until December 2020, companies can carry on trading with confidence on the same terms as they do now.

“We have put forward workable proposals to the EU on a range of areas from the backstop to security – and the White Paper, which will be published shortly, will continue to drive this process forward.”

The UK is set to leave the European Union at 11pm on 29 March 2019.