The soft fruit industry in Angus and Fish processors throughout the North East of Scotland would be disproportionately hammered by reckless Tory plans to slap a £1,000 levy on EU workers in the UK following a hard Brexit.
The soft fruit industry in Angus employs a large number of migrants and
the seafood processing sector employs thousands of EU citizens, with the workforce largely concentrated at individual sites in the North East.
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill suggested that firms could be charged £1,000 each year for every EU worker they employ. The anti-business plans have been labelled xenophobic by former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt who is one of the EU’s chief Brexit negotiators and even criticised by senior Tory Anna Soubry who blasted the proposals as a “tax on successful businesses”.
Angus MP Mike Weir who has repeatedly raised the situation of the many EU migrants working in the industries in Angus with ministers, commented
“The plans to tax firms an excess based on the number of European workers they have on the books are discriminatory, deeply disturbing and potentially crippling in terms of business.
“In Angus alone, firms could face huge charges just for having the ‘audacity’ to hire workers with the right set of skills who have chosen to make Scotland their home.
“The UK government seem blind to the fact that these workers also support many, many jobs in other parts of the business and in the support industries needed to get the produce to market.”
“This is a short sighted and stupid proposal that could have a serious impact on local businesses.”