Patrick Keating

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Weston-super-Mare and the Villages Learn more

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Government Brexit immigration rules would be a massive blow to Weston-super-Mare and North Somerset economy

by patrickkeating on 10 October, 2019

The Conservative Government’s post-Brexit immigration restrictions would leave businesses in Weston-super-Mare and North Somerset struggling to fill roles and seriously curtail growth in our region, particularly in high tech and creative industries, a new report from the IPPR states today.

The study shows that 75 per cent of the current EU migrants in the North Somerset region workforce would not have been eligible, would they have wanted to come when the new proposed migration regime is in place.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Cllr Patrick Keating said: “This study shows that the Tory Government’s Brexit plans will do untold damage to our local economy by hampering the growth of key industries. A new BBC analysis has found that real term wages in Weston-super-Mare have fallen by 25% in the last decade. Rather than dragging the country into a disastrous Brexit, the government should be taking action to boost local industries and promote growth.”

Rohan Roy, Business West Policy Team, said:  “This report finds that the region will be hit hard by the government’s immigration reforms. The findings show that growth in critical sectors – such as aerospace, creative industries and social care – could be seriously curtailed by so government’s proposed changes to the migration system. Many businesses we spoke to are unprepared for the new rules, which they believe would lead to skills shortages. The government needs to urgently take on board these local concerns as it reviews changes to the UK’s migration policy.”

Case Study

BARRY EDWARDS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MARIA CARE (SOCIAL CARE PROVIDER IN WESTON-SUPER-MARE) “About 16 per cent of our workforce of 50 are EU nationals … Despite the common narrative, we do not employ EU staff because they are cheaper than UK nationals. Instead, we employ them when they are right for front line adult social care work – which requires emotional intelligence, empathy and a caring nature … Training amounts to 27 separate courses over three years, meaning that experienced staff are evidently skilled, despite it not being a high-paid sector … The whole social and health care sector is concerned about a shortfall in staff … If I could find the staff I would be able to double the size of the company, meaning that people who need care would not be left behind on waiting lists. [If there is a further restriction in the labour market] then we would be competing for the same staff as other companies, when in fact we need to be growing the net number of staff in the sector.”

Notes to editors:

The full IPPR study, which studies the effects of Government migration plans on the WECA area and North Somerset, can been seen here: https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/migration-in-bristol

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