Restaurants call on Theresa May to act quickly over industry exodus fears

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: British Home Secretary Theresa May leaves after the first weekly cabinet meeting in Downing Street, on May 12, 2015 in London, England. Conservative party Prime Minister David Cameron has unveiled his new cabinet after claiming an election victory last week that gave his party an outright majority in parliament, the first time in nearly 20 years.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The restaurant and hospitality sector is calling on Britain’s new prime minister, Theresa May, to create a clear Brexit employment strategy to alleviate concerns that the industry could be hit by a skills shortage.

Mrs May is due to take over from David Cameron tomorrow and the Association of Multiple Retailers Association, which includes more than 20,000 pubs, bars and restaurants, wants her to recognise the needs of the industry.

CEO Kate Nicholls said: “Above all else, we call on Theresa May as one of her first acts as the new prime minister, to  guarantee non-UK EU nationals, many thousands of whom work in our pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants, to be granted the right to remain in the UK both before, during and after the negotiations. We need a clear Brexit employment strategy.”

Nicholls said that with the Conservative Party leadership race now over, it was time for the government to “act decisively” to secure long-term economic stability, business and consumer confidence.

“The reaction of the markets [yesterday] shows how valuable certainty and stability is for investors and the same is true for business, particularly in hospitality which is a key engine of economic growth and employment. We now need a clear road map to lock in competitiveness and allow companies to reliably plan ahead for the future – particularly around recruitment.”

She added: “The new prime minister will set the tone for the UK’s approach to the EU negotiations and we are pleased that she has sent a clear signal that nothing will be rushed and no steps will be taken until we know what is needed from them. She must ensure that the needs of sectors like hospitality and small businesses are taken into account – simple access to the single market, the ability to hire the right people and driving down the costs and burdens of regulation.”

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