Freedom of movement: How Brexit is costing young Britons seasonal jobs in Europe

Europe

Fears over Brexit and the subsequent end of freedom of movement for UK workers has led to a dramatic loss of seasonal jobs at ski resorts and holiday destinations in Europe, new research has found.

The research was carried out by Seasonal Business in Travel (SBIT), which has long warned about the impact of Brexit on the holiday industry due to restrictions in labour laws that would come with the end of freedom of movement.

In a tweet to publicize the report SBIT summed up the impact of Brexit on the holiday industry that employs some 25,000 British workers in Europe in everything from ski and beach resorts to Eurocamps.

“UK travel companies have cut workforces by an average 30% since the referendum, affecting mostly 18-34 year olds. Many holidays are supported by the 25,000 Brits working in the EU, Brexit puts these jobs at risk. Ending free movement works both ways.”

SBIT says that for many holiday companies, “a key element of their operational efficiency is the ability that membership of the EU has given them to quickly and seamlessly deploy UK staff to the EU (and around the EU) to cover peaks in holiday demand.

“These staff continue to pay their social charges and taxes in the UK, continue to receive their social benefits and the UK economy continues to receive the substantial revenue estimated to be generated by these contributions.”

But after Britain leaves the EU, which it is scheduled to do on January 31st, everything would change with freedom of movement set to stop at the end of transition period in December 2020 if the UK leaves on the terms of the deal struck with Brussels.

“Once outside, EU immigration controls will apply to us. Furthermore, whatever the UK does, and this may be a points-based system for example, is likely to be mirrored by the EU,” said the SBIT report.

“This is likely to at best restrict the number of UK citizens who are able to work in the EU and at worst curtail them to such a degree that many UK companies’ business models will be rendered completely unsustainable.”

And it would be young people the most likely to lose out from the job losses for UK workers.

The report concludes: “The loss of free movement of UK workers to Europe will mean that these mainly young workers may struggle to obtain even temporary, seasonal positions overseas.”

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