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NFUS ‘needs facts’ on non-UK labour ahead of upcoming MAC consultations

NFU Scotland has launched a survey in an attempt to find out exactly how reliant Scottish agriculture is on non-UK labour.

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NFU Scotland ‘needs facts’ on non-UK labour ahead of upcoming MAC consultations

The move is intended to provide negotiators with accurate information ahead of the next round of consultations with the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

 

Much of the evidence presented so far in favour of continued access to non-UK labour has been anecdotal, and NFUS admitted and there was a need for more facts.

 

Researchers and parliamentarians regularly question the scale of the problem with the economists within the MAC making the argument that home labour and increasing mechanisation can resolve any problems.

 

The survey looks into non-seasonal and seasonal workers as well as permanent staff.


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NFUS is also keen to establish if non-UK workers have applied to the UK Government’s EU Settled Status Scheme.

 

It also seeks views on the success or otherwise of the pilot Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS).

 

NFUS has already written to the Home Office calling for 80,000 SAWS permits to be made available rather than the 25,000 in the pilot scheme.

 

Lobbying

NFUS president Andrew McCornick said: “We are absolutely convinced that without non-UK workers, many farm-based businesses and the agri-food supply chain will be unproductive and unable to maintain the provision of food to UK consumers.

 

"But we need facts and figures to back up our lobbying effort on this and I urge anyone affected to complete this short survey.

The survey comes as rumours seep out of from Westminster suggesting that Home Secretary Priti Patel has had to postpone a draconian plan to shut the door on inward migration abruptly on October 31 in the event of a no –deal Brexit.

 

The U-turn has come because the move would require legislative change which would set a precedent triggering parliamentary scrutiny of 500 other measures within the European Union Withdrawal Act.

 

Mr McCornick has also called for the £30,000 minimum earning threshold for non-UK permanent workers to be abandoned.

 

Click here to fill out the survey.

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