Services demand continued access to foreign talent

Business leaders continue to raise concern over the affects of Brexit, following a letter from the leaders of the UK’s professional services sector.

Houses of Parliament
Leaders of the UK’s professional services firms and organisations have written an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May warning that a ‘hard’ Brexit could severely damage the sector’s flourishing business operations across Europe.

Brexit concerns from the UK’s service industry

The letter, signed by 42 senior figures under the umbrella of Professional and Business Services Council (PBSC), points out that the sector employs 4.6 million people and contributes £188 billion in gross value to the UK each year - more than the manufacturing, mining and extractive industries combined.Setting out its priorities for a Brexit deal, the leaders from law, accountancy, architecture, consulting and other professional services firms put mutual recognition of qualifications and regulatory frameworks at the top of their demands.The letter also calls for an agreement that would enable service providers to ‘fly-in, fly-out’ freely across Europe and would continue to enable organisations “to educate and recruit the best talent from overseas, whether from the EU or beyond”.
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It continues, “Failing to negotiate these elements would impair our ability to provide our services with the same range, depth and speed our clients around the world experience today, damaging their businesses and putting our sectors at a distinct competitive disadvantage.“The UK needs a deal that is good for Britain and one that works for the EU27. For this to be achieved, the contribution of the British professional services sector to the success of the UK and EU27 economies needs to be recognised and protected.”Signatories to the letter include Nick Owen, PBSC business chair and Deloitte NW Europe chairman; Joe Egan, president of the Law Society; and Oliver Benzecry, managing director of Accenture.Mr Owen said, “We underpin the integrity of the markets and support business confidence. We are a key reason why people the world over come to transact and resolve disputes in our country.”

Government response to business concerns

The letter coincided with a pledge from Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond that the government would strike a Brexit deal that “delivers” for business.Mr Hammond told the House of Commons, “I think the views of business, which is the great generator of employment and wealth and prosperity in our country, should always be taken very carefully into account.“We have to listen to what business is telling us and make sure that we deliver a Brexit which delivers the needs of business.” Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

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