The Brexit Secretary has made a special guarantee for bankers after we leave the EU. David Davis announced that freedom of movement will continue after Brexit, but only for senior employees in the financial sector.
On 14 November, Davis told City workers that:
We want to ensure that our new partnership with the EU protects the mobility of workers and professionals across the continent. Whether this means a bank temporarily moving a worker to an office in Germany or a lawyer visiting a client in Paris, we believe it is in the interests of both sides to see this continue.
For the rest of us…
By contrast, leaked papers suggest the Conservative government plans to end freedom of movement for the majority of other workers immediately after Brexit. Under the 82-page white paper leaked to The Guardian, the majority of EU nationals will be restricted from settling in the UK. There will also be tough new regulations on workers’ family members, which could split up thousands of families.
At the Swiss bank UBS’s annual conference, Davis also said:
Cooperation arrangements should be reciprocal, reliable and prioritise financial stability.
Indeed, the arrangements tend to be reciprocal. So in response to the Conservatives’ plans, any Briton who doesn’t work in the financial sector will likely face strict immigration rules from the EU after Brexit.
Many people have reacted angrily to the double standard. Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas tweeted:
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) November 15, 2017
Ian Macwhirter, political commentator at The Herald, suggested the arrangement was typical:
There you go: bankers are to be exempt from tight immigration rules after Brexit. Money talks, governments listen. https://t.co/XuFJZspXc5
— Iain Macwhirter (@iainmacwhirter) November 15, 2017
In a similar vein, the editor of politics.co.uk remarked:
Bankers were always going to get free movement. The immigration rules only sporadically apply to the rich.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) November 15, 2017
Yet again, the new announcement from Davis shows that the rich get special treatment from this government. For the rest of us, it’s another story.
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