No more EU fruit pickers for the UK

FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Visitors look at at a selection of fruit at the Harvest Festival Show in London, Britain 10 October 2012.

No more EU fruit pickers for the UK


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Britain’s farmers will no longer have privileged access to cheap low-skilled workers from the EU after Brexit, according to the chair of the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee.

In a statement to the BBC, the chair of the special advisory body on immigration, Alan Manning, said that fruit and vegetable growers would not be able to hire EU workers.

He added that he did not expect the impact on the UK economy to be significant.

The National Farmers Union has been lobbying the government for a seasonal work program, as crops could not be picked this year. Given the devaluation of the pound, EU workers have stopped coming in the numbers required by UK agriculture.

Post-Brexit, the UK plans to prioritise highly skilled workers from all over the world, rather than give EU workers a special status. Their income must exceed £30,000 a year to get a visa if they are not members of the creative or performing arts.

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