The Independent | 24 February 2017
By: Ben Chapman
More than 100,000 EU citizens left Britain in the three months after the EU referendum, new figures showed this week.
New worker registrations from Poland are down 16 per cent year on year, Hungary down 14 per cent, and Slovakia down 20 per cent.
After a Brexit vote in which a primary concern was too much immigration, some might be applauding the trend, but for important UK industries it is already creating a serious problem, and one that provides a preview of what may be to come for the wider economy.
EU workers are deserting us already – Brexit will end in disaster
While more people are still arriving than leaving, businesses worry the numbers will not be enough to fill vacancies.
The UK’s growing hospitality sector should be a Brexit winner. A record 37 million tourists visited in 2016 as the pound plunged. But many hotels, restaurants and bars are already finding it tough to recruit the EU nationals that make up a large proportion of the industry’s 4.9 million workers.
While the weakened pound means a juicy discount for wealthy American or Chinese visitors dining at the Ritz or stocking up on designer brands in West End boutiques, it also hands a 15 per cent pay cut to the largely foreign workers that tend to those tourists’ needs.