Sajid Javid is planning to try to scrap plans that recommended EU migrants must earn £30k to work in a post Brexit Britain, a plan we applaud. Unfortunately, the salary threshold for EU migrants debate is now looking like a political football or bargaining chip that will be used by tory leadership hopeful’s, Mr Javid being one of them.
Javid has written to the Migration Advisory Committee asking them to look into lowering prospective wage bands, which will doubtless light fuses with Tory Eurosceptics.
With the tory leadership battle well underway long before Prime Minister Theresa May departs, and hotting up by the day, the debate on salary thresholds for EU migrants and wider immigration policy will doubtless persist and grow.
While Tory infighting and point scoring rages, businesses within the hospitality industry will be faced with the continuation of uncertainty.
People and skills shortages in hospitality are already acute and whilst many businesses in the sector are facing difficulties Sajid Javid’s intentions are welcome. The bigger question is whether he would be able to see them through.
One of Mr Javid’s opponents in the looming tory leadership battle is Boris Johnson, an arch supporter of the UK leaving the EU, and an advocate of no deal Brexit being an option.
In January Mr Johnson spoke at the headquarters of JCB, a billion-pound construction company owned by a pro-leave Conservative party peer. In his speech he mentioned the “benefits of migration” but then said: “We know one of the ways big corporations have held wages down is that they have had access to unlimited pools of labour from other countries.
“I think there must be a balance and if an influx of labour is being used not only to prevent investment in capital equipment but also in the skills and prospects of young people then we need to think carefully about how we control immigration.”
Boris Johnson is a seasoned Eurosceptic who resigned from his role as Foreign Minister over his unhappiness with the proposed Brexit deal being too ‘soft’. We doubt he will back Mr Javid’s call on the Migration Advisory Committee.
So, more of the same political gaming that we have seen far too much of recently seems on the cards with little regard for those who have to run the businesses fuelling the economy.