“Access to people” is as important as a future trade deal with the EU, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The warning came shortly before CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn was due to speak to businesses about productivity on Friday.
She said the Government should provide “clarity and certainty over migration policy – now and in the future” to maintain investment in the UK.
The CBI will also look to encourage the Government to guarantee EU citizens’ rights even in the event of a “no deal” scenario. Ms Fairbairn said employers need a period of adjustment to a new migration system.
She added that limiting access to EU workers would leave companies unable to get the staff they need to grow.
The report falls in line with new figures which show that the number of EU citizens leaving the UK is at its highest level in a decade, with fewer EU nationals arriving in the UK for “work-related” reasons.
It was also reported that Britain had hit its cap on Tier 2 visas for non-EU migrants for the third consecutive month in a row.
Phoebe Griffith, associate director for migration at the Institute for Public Policy Research, said the fact that the cap is repeatedly being hit shows the “irrepressibly high demand for migrants among employers”.
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