Government's Post-Brexit Immigration Plans Would Cost Employers £1bn and ‘Risks New Windrush Scandal’

Government's Post-Brexit Immigration Plans Would Cost Employers £1bn and ‘Risks New Windrush Scandal’

The government's proposed immigration plans for after the UK leaves the EU would cost employers over £1bn in additional administration costs over the following five years and "risks creating a new Windrush scandal" according to a new report.

The plans, published in the government's Immigration White Paper, would also cause harm to the UK's higher education sector by discouraging EU students from applying to study in this country and would cost the NHS £120m each year through additional costs associated with recruiting overseas staff. The study was carried out by Global Future, an independent think tank that supports a more open approach to immigration.

The white paper proposes the implementation of the same minimum salary threshold for EU citizens hoping to work in the UK as currently applies to those from outside the European bloc. At present, that would mean workers would have to earn £30,000 and be required to pay visa charges and other associated costs. Using modelling produced by the Home Office, the report suggests that, based on the number of people expected to apply for work visas, employers be required to pay out nearly £12,500 per worker, with a five-year total of £1.14bn. The cost to the public sector over this period is expected to total £337m.

The report also warns that requiring people living in the UK under freedom of movement to prove their status risks creating problems similar to those experienced by members of the ‘Windrush generation', which created a political scandal last year. Failures by the Home Office resulted in UK nationals of Caribbean origin who had lived in the UK for decades being wrongly detained, denied legal rights, and in some cases being deported because they did not have the correct documentation.

The status of EU nationals living legally in the UK could be threatened as a result of lack of awareness, errors on the part of the Home Office, or technicalities if they had spent periods living outside the UK the study suggests.

Fergus Pearce, a Global Future researcher and author of the report said: "The white paper includes some sensible measures, but overall it represents an unambiguous shift towards a more complex and burdensome immigration system that will damage our country's prospects.

"Requiring the Europeans who are allowed in to secure sponsored visas will create a £1bn bureaucratic headache for employers, including the NHS – syphoning hundreds of millions of pounds in visa fees out of cash-strapped hospitals and into the Home Office."

A spokesman for Home Office said the figures "are entirely speculative". He added that the government's immigration plans "will include supporting businesses by stripping out bureaucracy through streamlining and digitising the system and committing to process the vast majority of work visas within three weeks."

Contact our Immigration Solicitors in London, Sheffield and Manchester

Whatever the nature of your case, speak with one of the experienced immigration lawyers at Wilford Smith for clear, professional advice on all immigration matters. Our solicitors are based in London, Sheffield and Manchester and assist clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 0808 278 3508 to find out how we can help or fill out our online enquiry form.

Latest News Posts

Most, if not all, businesses will at some point find themselves presented with a grievance by an employee. It is […]

Sometimes businesses face an unexpected disruption or temporary downturn in work.  Whilst no-one wants this to happen it is often […]

It is inevitable that every business from time-to-time will be required to undertake a disciplinary procedure.  Whilst most staff are […]

Sign up for our monthly newsletters for the latest news & articles
At Wilford Smith we are invested in your success. Our team will get to know you, your family, your business, and your market sector. To us, you and needs are unique. You can be confident that by instructing us, we will take care of all your legal matters throughout your lifetime, providing creative solutions and protecting your best interests.



  • Meadowhall Business Park
  • S9 2EQ
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572


  • Smithy House 22 Westgate,
  • Rotherham S60 1AP
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572


  • 20 Old Bailey
  • LondonEC4M 7AN
  • By appointment only
Copyright ©2024 Wilford Smith, All rights reserved.
2024 Wilford Smith is the trading name of WS Strategic Ltd. a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 07777022. Registered office – Meadowhall Business Park, Sheffield S9 2EQ. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration Number 640898.