UK: Theresa May Speaks at the CBI Annual Conference

Newland Chase was delighted to attend the CBI Annual Conference on 21st November 2016. The keynote speaker, Prime Minister Theresa May, re-pledged her guarantee to trigger Article 50 by early next year. As we know, this will be the first stage in the process for the UK to leave the EU, meaning that a two-year countdown will then commence for the UK to formally depart. However, she did admit that the complex negotiations required to leave the EU will take considerable time to be resolved.

Mrs May also pledged for an early agreement on the immigration status of EU nationals in the UK, as well as British nationals in other EU countries. This, as she acknowledged, was a chief concern for employees and businesses in the EU as they want to avoid a “cliff edge” scenario whereby we suddenly leave the EU.

From a business perspective, Mrs May has promised to lower corporation tax to the lowest level in the G20. The purpose of this will be to encourage investment and innovation by businesses and, in particular, those in the R&D field. In particular, the lower corporation tax measure is designed to encourage further investment in the UK, which is of a primary concern to the government whilst the UK negotiates post-Brexit trade deals.

Further, Mrs May”s speech took on board the uncertainty faced by businesses in the UK post-Brexit. The government will be looking at a transitional deal to cover trade arrangements during the period between the UK leaving the EU and the start of subsequent trade deals, once the UK formally leaves the EU.

As we rapidly approach the six month anniversary of the EU referendum, without much development, we welcome an early agreement on what the immigration impact will be of Brexit. We certainly cannot underestimate the level of work required to satisfactorily leave the EU and welcome early clarification on the immigration status for EU and UK nationals so that appropriate planning can commence.

If you have any queries regarding the immigration status of your employees and how Brexit may affect them, please contact us at

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