The hospitality industry has responded positively to the reported government proposals to enable EU citizen to work in the UK without visas after Brexit.
European workers would have to apply for permission to move to the UK under the plans, according to the BBC. Now they can live and work in the country freely.
The future immigration policy regarding EU citizens is yet to be confirmed.
At present the UK already allows visa-free travel to nationals from 56 countries, with visitors being allowed to stay for a maximum of six months. However, they are not allowed to work, study or settle in the UK.
Kate Nicholls (pictured), chief executive, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), said that the plans were "potentially a positive step forward for employers and hints that the government may be listening to the concerns of businesses". However, she warned that more concrete information on the process was needed before getting too excited.
"Any proposals need to acknowledge the fact that the eating and drinking out sector employs non-UK workers, not by choice, but out of necessity," she explained. "Businesses ought not to have to pay unfairly high permit fees because of the lack of British applicants.
"We need flexibility for both employers and employees travelling to the UK. If the final process is too unwieldy, or marginalises hospitality in favour of other sectors, then eating and drinking out businesses could find themselves at a disadvantage."
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