Downing Street refused to comment on Monday (20 August), but in documents seen by The Telegraph, ministers were planning to take ‘the moral high ground’ by granting the 3.8 million EU nationals living in the UK the right to stay.
Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality Chief Executive, said: “The Prime Minister’s statement gives businesses much-needed clarity on the future of its workforce as we leave the EU, with or without a deal. It rightly acknowledges the contribution made by EU nationals to UK businesses. In hospitality, EU workers help to ease acute skills and labour gaps, while the industry works to encourage more British people to choose careers in our sector.
“Allowing existing EU citizens the right to stay goes some way to support the needs of our business and will allow the sector to continue to grow, invest and benefit the UK economy.”
The leak comes as the UK government prepares to set out a number of its 80 technical notes on Thursday (23 August), which will detail its preparations for a no-deal Brexit across a wide range of sectors.
It is estimated that around one in eight of all staff working in hospitality are from other EU nations.