Pro-Brexit Wetherspoons boss calls for more EU migration to staff bars

Tim Martin backs'reasonably liberal immigration program' to encourage workers to relocate, despite having endorsed leaving only market and customs union

Pro-Brexit Wetherspoons boss calls for more EU migration to staff bars

Tim Martin backs'reasonably liberal immigration program' to encourage workers to relocate, despite having endorsed leaving only market and customs union

TheEditor
TheEditor
02 June 2021 Wednesday 05:23
85 Reads
Pro-Brexit Wetherspoons boss calls for more EU migration to staff bars

The pro-Brexit boss of pub series JD Wetherspoon has urged the government to improve migration in the EU to deal with a shortage of employees in the hospitality sector.

Tim Martin, who campaigned for a tricky Brexit, such as leaving the only market and the ending of freedom of motion which came with it, urged Boris Johnson to think about a new,"fairly liberal" visa strategy to encourage foreign workers to relocate to the United Kingdom.

He suggested countries near Britain might be given preferential treatment -- apparently at odds with the argument laid out by Brexiteers that leaving the EU would allow the UK to treat all nationalities equally.

Mr Martin told The Daily Telegraph:"The UK has a low birth rate. A reasonably liberal immigration system controlled by those we've elected, as distinct from the EU system, are a plus for the economy and the nation.

"America, Australia and Singapore have profited for many decades from using this approach. Immigration combined with democracy functions. "

The Wetherspoon chairman'd previously warned that remaining in the EU would lead to"significant adverse financial implications" and labelled those warning of the economic damage cutting ties with our greatest and closest trading partner would bring as"doomsters".

Arguing for a no-deal Brexit in 2019, Mr Martin said:"I have argued that the UK -- and consequently Wetherspoon -- will benefit from a free-trade approach, by avoiding a'deal' which involves the payment of #39bn to the EU."

He cut the cost of some drinks by 20p in a stunt to show how he believed Brexit would lower his prices.

However, as a consequence of Brexit and the pandemic, much of the UK's hospitality industry is now struggling to fill tens of thousands of empty roles.

Mr Martin's remarks triggered an angry response from several of people who had argued against Brexit.

Campaigner Femi Oluwole wrote:"I really hope Tim Martin never runs into Tim Martin. He is gonna be so angry!"

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said:"I remember disagreeing with Tim Martin on @bbcquestiontime about this, back in 2016. He had been arguing the opposite position for this then. Too late mate"

The amount of job postings in the bar, restaurant and pub industry has shot up by 46 per cent because indoor trading was permitted to restart in England on 17 May, according to the consulting services company RSM.

"There are severe staffing shortages," explained Mr Kill. "A lot of employees are out of Europe, therefore Brexit has had a direct impact, and there's that the furlough hangover, where a great deal of people have now got other tasks to keep themselves going and aren't coming back."

The bureau said they also expected hospitality companies such as pubs, restaurants and resorts"to incur the additional costs of hiring and training new workers... putting pressure on their margins".

"Before Brexit, EU nationals composed between 12 percent and 24 percent of the total workforce in the UK hospitality industry, based on KPMG," the report said.

"A lot of them left the country throughout the lockdowns. EU nationals now have to get a visa to be able to enter the country to work, which entails securing a job offer that satisfies minimum salary amounts, among other prerequisites "

The Fitch Ratings report added that hospitality companies"may face greater salary requirements, for example so as to attract EU nationals, particularly during high summer and early autumn seasons, or to hire skilled employees to train workers with no prior experience".

Keywords:
Pro-Brexit
Comments

Warning!

You have to login for comment. If you are not a member? Register now.

Login Sign Up