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U.K. firms fear hit from post-Brexit immigration

Reuters LONDON (Reuters) — More than half of British companies with foreign staff fear they would be hurt by the government’s plans for a post-Brexit immigration system, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

Of 380 businesses polled by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and job site Indeed, 53 percent said they would be negatively affected by an expansion of Britain’s existing minimum salary threshold for skilled workers from outside the European Union to include all migrant workers after Brexit.

Meanwhile, 57 percent said they would be hurt by plans for a 12-month work and residency limit on lower skilled immigrants.

“Businesses in many sectors are finding it increasingly difficult to hire workers with the right skills,” Pawel Adrjan, an economist at Indeed, said.

“Like in any open economy, migration flows are one way to release that pressure valve but as our survey found, new proposals do not appear to flex and breathe depending on employers’ needs,” Adrjan said.

Health care and construction in particular needed more flexibility, he said.

Britain’s interior minister Sajid Javid last month asked an advisory committee to look at its proposed salary threshold for skilled migrant workers of £30,000 ($37,512.00) a year, except for paramedics, lab techs, chefs and junior doctors.Speech

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