Home Office representative Carrie Golding reported that, so far, two million EU nationals had applied for ‘settled status’ that would enable them and their families to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU.
Golding also said that, following representations from UKWA and other trade bodies, the Government was reconsidering its £30,000 immigrant salary threshold. “There is concern that setting the threshold at £30,000 could severely restrict the influx of key workers across a variety of industry sectors,” she said.
More than 100 senior personnel from UKWA member companies, key suppliers to the logistics industry and supply chain directors attended the event.
Tony Thomas, deputy director of the pan-Government Border Delivery Group, explained that the largest public information campaign since the Second World War was currently underway to communicate Brexit’s impact on UK businesses.
Thomas said: “It remains the case in law that the UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October, so it is important that businesses prepare themselves for that date and do not assume that they can put off preparations.”
There were also some welcome upbeat views on the economy from senior economist at Colliers International Walter Boettcher. “Favourable demographics over the next five to 10 years, will see the UK continue to capture its share of global investment,” he said.
Warehousing and logistics
Meanwhile, Kevin Mofid, head of industrial research at property consultant Savills, shared his views on the ways in which the widespread economic, political, demographic and technological upheaval was likely to affect the future of warehousing and last-mile logistics. Among the changes Mofid spoke about were a growing requirement for more delivery facilities closer to major population centres and an increased emphasis on access to labour markets when considering the optimum location for a warehouse or distribution centre.
UKWA’s chief executive Peter Ward commented: “Our Parliamentary reception provides a chance for our members – the people who, after all, will be at the ‘coal face’ when it comes to ensuring that the UK’s post-Brexit supply chains don’t break down – to meet with Government advisers and discuss any concerns or uncertainties they may have.”
UKWA president, The Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, hosted the Parliamentary reception.