The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) say that many Cornish businesses in sectors who rely on staff from a migrant workforce may not be aware of the fact that the government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Also, of great importance to business, they are looking at how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy.
Richard Crocker, owner of Lantoom Quarry and an FSB member in Liskeard (pictured above), has highlighted the huge importance of this to his business and that there will be others like him in many different sectors with particular significance in Cornwall.
Mr Crocker said: "I'm worried new red tape will make it harder and more expensive to get the skilled workers I need post Brexit.
"I encourage all business owners to make their concerns known to the Migration Advisory Committee as soon as possible".
Ann Vandermeulen, Development Manager for FSB Cornwall said: “If the business community here do not know about this consultation or act to give clear evidence on how the free movement of people will affect their workers and their business, then this part of the forthcoming Immigration Bill could well be very damaging to the needs of our local economy if their needs are not met.”
So in case businesses didn’t know, the information is that MAC has published a call for evidence and briefing paper in relation to this commission and these documents are available on the MAC website. The MAC is asking for responses to its call for evidence by 27 October 2017 and FSB say there are a few things businesses can and perhaps should do now:
1. Please forward this information and the above link to the MAC consultation documents to your business contacts that could provide real, compelling evidence on business need.
2. Send your own response direct to MAC either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post: Migration Advisory Committee , 2nd Floor Peel Building , 2 Marsham Street , London , SW1P 4DF
3. Copy email@example.com in with your response as FSB will be collecting case study evidence to present and reinforce our work on Brexit with government.
4. Send your local MP your evidence to amplify the voice of Cornish businesses.
5. FSB members can book to attend their MP round table meetings to personally ask local MPs to take evidence forward to Parliament. *2 meetings are on or after the consultation date but do still come to make your case as the debate will continue.
Scott Mann – 8 September, 12-2pm - Launceston Town Hall
Derek Thomas – 15 September, 12-1.30pm – MP office in Wharfside Shopping Centre, Penzance
Steve Double – 22 September, 10.15-12.15pm - MP office in St Austell
Sheryll Murray – 13 October, 11-1pm - Lord Eliot Hotel, Liskeard
Sarah Newton – 27 October, 1-2.30pm - Truro Business Space, Truro *
George Eustice – 3 November, 12-2pm - Pool Innovation Centre, Redruth *
Please book for these meetings at: www.fsb.org.uk/cornwall