Restaurant Owners Calls Government’s Immigration Stance Bonkers
David Loewi, co-owner of the group behind high-end London restaurants Le Pont de la Tour, Coq D’Argent and Quaglino’s, who is also chairman of the Restaurant Association trade body has hit out at the UK government's increasingly hard-line Immigration stance.
Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Loewi called the government’ recent rhetoric “retrograde” and “bonkers”.
About 60% of workers at the London restaurants of Loewi’s group, D&D London, come from overseas, a similar proportion to other restaurant businesses in the capital. UK-wide, a fifth of workers in the accommodation and food services industries come from overseas. The majority of those workers come from the EU. Mr Loewi told the Guardian that the recent spate of attacks on migrants and the comments from the government have already made it harder to recruit the talent his businesses need to grow.
“There are so many UK industries that would not be able to work without EU employees. We welcome English workers but we shouldn’t be looking at where people come from if they can do a wonderful job. [Overseas workers] make London what it is and are important, certainly in the restaurant and hotel trades and the NHS,” Loewi said.
Loewi said Rudd’s comments were “completely bonkers, very negative and upsetting for a lot of fellow Europeans and people from all over the world who work in London and the rest of the UK. People will think twice about coming here and paying their taxes.
“The restaurant business in London pays very well and conditions are good. It’s an exciting and fantastic career because you can move up and start your own business. But we can only grow and open more restaurants if we can find the staff. [Rudd’s suggestions] are a retrograde and negative step.”
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