LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s government will quadruple the annual immigration quota for seasonal farm workers to 10,000 from next year to tackle labour shortages in the sector after Brexit, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.
Currently Britain allows 2,500 people from outside the European Union to work temporarily on British farms each year, a number that the sector says is too low. Many other farm workers come from poorer parts of the EU, and do not yet face a quota.
“Our immigration system should reflect the needs of the farming sector, and expanding and continuing the seasonal workers scheme will be an important part of that,” agriculture minister Theresa Villiers told the Sunday Telegraph.
The expansion will be formally announced as part of the Conservative Party’s campaign in the run-up to a national election on Dec. 12, the newspaper said.
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Andrea Ricci)