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An official statement from the British Government on the rights of EU nationals in the UK is expected to ease concerns for contractors over the futures of thousands of EU workers in construction jobs across the country. The industry, already gripped by a skills shortage in recent years, has seen plenty of uncertainty since the recent referendum. With output growth expected to continue this statement should alleviate some concern over construction recruitment in a post-EU future.
“When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected. The government recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK.”
EU Nationals who have lived continuously in the UK automatically have a permanent right to residence, while people who have lived in the UK for less than five still have a right to reside in the UK in accordance with EU law. No additional documentation is necessary for EU nationals to utilise their free movement rights.
The statement continued “There have been no changes to the right of EU nationals to reside in the UK and therefore no change to the circumstances in which someone could be removed from the UK. As was the case before the referendum, EU nationals can only be removed from the UK if they are considered to pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the public, if they are not lawfully resident or are abusing their free movement rights.”