Introducing a new migration policy in Jersey before a Brexit outcome has been finalised could have a catastrophic impact on tourism in the island, says Jersey Hospitality Association’s Simon Soar:
‘The terms of Brexit, and the impact it will have on immigration between the UK and EU, have not yet been settled. This is a period of huge uncertainty, we don’t know what’s going to happen or when. Our view is that the States of Jersey absolutely can not bring in a new migration policy until we know where the immigration policy in the UK stands. It would be nothing short of catastrophic.
‘We understand that people want to see some sort of population control but to bring in a migration policy now, when any new policy will also be governed by the outcome of Brexit, potentially risks creating a double tiered control, and that will kill Jersey hospitality.
‘A lot of people blame population control for issues that affect the island, and politicians know that. But rushing to debate migration policy before we know what the UK’s new relationship with the EU will be simply doesn’t make sense, and it’s not just a hospitality issue, either.
‘If you look at finance, a big economic generator, it doesn’t solely recruit from the local population. The industry is already seeing recruitment problems. The hospitality industry brings employees over, some of whom move on to work in finance. Hospitality feeds other industries. If we can’t get staff, it has a knock-on effect.
‘Not only does the new migration policy, and its stance on low-skilled workers, risk causing enormous problems and additional costs for hospitality employers, the timing could not be more ill advised. What we’re asking is that Jersey’s government delay debating this until we know what the implications of Brexit will be.’