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Will A Migrant Strike Make A Difference

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One Day Without Us. That is the name given to the proposed one-day strike by migrants planned for 20th February 2017 in response to Brexit.

The day of action has been billed as an opportunity to celebrate the contribution EU and non-EU migrants make to the social and economic landscape of the UK.

The day of action, scheduled to coincide with the UN’s World Day of Social Justice, is based on similar events in the US in 2006 and in Italy in 2010.

Gathering rapid support

The event has been organised by writer and commentator, Matt Carr. He hopes that employers who hold Sponsor Licences and rely on EU nationals and those who hold a Tier 2 (General) visa will close their offices for the day in support of the event. Many of the best Immigration solicitors throughout Britain are also backing the action.

Mr Carr states that the aim of the day of action is to emphasise the variety of work migrants undertake to help keep the UK ticking over – from NHS doctors to those who staff the hospitality sector. The organisers say a day without migrant labour will demonstrate how much the economy would struggle without their contribution.

Mr Carr’s books include Fortress Europe: Inside the War Against Immigration, detailing “Europe’s undeclared ‘war’ against undocumented Immigration”, and Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614, which documents the “cultural oppression” suffered by Muslims driven out of Spain in the Middle Ages, according to publisher Hirst.

He has also written three other books, including one about terrorism, as well as numerous articles for The Guardian, The New York Times and The Telegraph among others, and has appeared on BBC radio.

The left-wing journalist plans to use his establishment credentials to encourage political parties, trade unions and religious and community organisations to support the day, in addition to publicising it on Facebook.

Fallout from the Conservative Party Conference

Mr Carr told The Guardian, “Since Brexit we have seen levels of xenophobia and racism that have been increasingly legitimised. We want to make a bold and powerful statement and give migrants an opportunity to express themselves.”

Although Theresa May was forced to back down on many of the statements she made at the Conservative Party Conference earlier in the month, she has accepted the need to have “full and transparent” parliamentary scrutiny before triggering Brexit, as Labour demanded answers to 170 questions about leaving the EU. This followed a leaked report from the Treasury that Brexit could cost the country £66 billion.

Since the conference, many EU and Tier 2 migrant workers have reported feeling unwelcome in the UK. The now notorious suggestion that employers who hold Sponsor Licences and employ foreign workers would be named and shamed was swiftly withdrawn following strong protests from the business community and many of the best Immigration lawyers in the UK.

However, the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd made it clear that harsh moves would be employed to bring Immigration figures down. For Sponsor Licence holders and Tier 2 General and Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa holders, things will become more difficult from Autumn 2016 and again in April 2017 when the reforms recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) are implemented. These will include:

  • the minimum salary threshold to increase over two stages to reach £30,000 for a majority of Tier 2 (General) Visa holders by April 2017
  • Sponsor Licence holders will have to pay £1,000 per annum for every non-EU worker they recruit
  • the Tier 2 (ICT) Visa minimum salary will be £41,500 (except those entering under the Tier 2 (ICT) Graduate Trainee route) following the closure of the Tier 2 (ICT Skills-Transfer) Visa and the Tier 2 (ICT – Short Term Staff) Visa

In Summary

Many businesses are now engaging the best legal advice possible from Immigration solicitors to ensure their business growth is not constricted by the Government’s moves to restrict Immigration. More changes to the Immigration rules are likely to make it even harder to hire Tier 2 workers and once we leave the EU, the gap which was previously filled by workers from the Continent, will be keenly felt.

One Day Without Us may drive home the point to the Government and community that foreign workers give back far more than they take and we will miss them if they go.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected Immigration law firms in London. Our business immigration team comprises of Teni Shahiean, Oshin Shahiean, Nagesh Jain and Dr Lusine Navasardyan all of whom would be happy to talk to you about your business immigration needs.

By making an appointment with one of our Immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. We will assist you with all aspects of applying for a Sponsor Licence, Tier 2 General or ICT Visa, EEA permanent residence Card and/or British Citizenship.

If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.

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