Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the Government of a two-year pilot scheme which will allow up to 2,500 seasonal migrant agricultural workers from non-EU countries from Spring 2019.
Under the pilot, fruit and vegetable farmers in the UK will be able to employ seasonal workers to work on their farms for up to six months, before their return.
The scheme will run until the end of December 2020. The Government has said that it was will be reviewing the pilot's results as it looks to continue supporting the long term needs of farmers after Brexit.
Commenting, Steve said:
“I regularly meet with farmers in Mid-Cornwall. They tell me that continued access to seasonal migrant workers after Brexit is vital to the continued success of many large and small farms in Cornwall.”
“This announcement shows that the Government has listened to the views expressed by my constituents and are committed to ensuring our farmers are able to employ seasonal workers needed to cope with their busy harvest months.
"Seasonal migrant workers are also important to the rapidly growing visitor economy in Cornwall, with businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector often looking abroad to fill labour shortages in the summer."
“I will be asking Ministers to consider a similar scheme for the tourism and hospitality sector to maintain their access to seasonal workers post Brexit.”
“I will continue to work hard to ensure that we build a managed and fair immigration system that respects the result of the referendum whilst providing the workers our local businesses need.”