Overseas Workers: EU Countries

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 30th March 2021.

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Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made on agreeing to new visa arrangements, whether bilaterally or with individual EU states, for UK residents who carry out short-term contracts in the EU.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is the basis of our trading relations with the EU, and this is not going to be re-negotiated. Commitments in the TCA provide certainty and clarity for those who travel to another country temporarily to do business. For example, the TCA guarantees market access to key economic sectors, and eases some burdens on business travellers, such as: removing the need for work permits for some short-term trips and reducing the number of economic needs tests a country could impose to block access to exporters. They also ensure that the UK and EU Member States have a minimum standard for how business travellers and service providers should be treated when working abroad through non-discrimination clauses.

The end of freedom of movement between the UK and the EU will inevitably have some consequences for cross-border business travel, and we are engaging regularly with businesses to help them understand the new requirements for travel to the EU. We have published guidance on GOV.UK to help those intending to travel to the EU, EEA and Switzerland for work or other business purposes. The Government will continue to enhance this guidance and to engage with our embassies to better understand the requirements in Member States, on behalf of UK businesses.

We respect the right of individual Member States to determine their own immigration policies. Here in the UK, we have adopted a global immigration system that treats EU and non-EU citizens equally.

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