Pictured is Graham Usher
A leading York hotelier has joined the growing chorus of voices calling for EU citizens to have the right to remain in the UK following the triggering of Article 50.
Graham Usher – the general manager of the four-star Monkbar Hotel and chair of the city’s Hoteliers’ Association – said the current uncertainty was starting to have an impact on the hospitality sector, which already struggles to recruit staff at all levels.
Mr Usher said that whilst he welcomed last night’s House of Lords voting in favour of EU citizens’ post Brexit having the same residency rights as they currently enjoy, the government must act soon.
“The hospitality trade in many towns and cities, including York, would implode if it wasn’t for EU nationals taking on the jobs their UK counterparts are reluctant to do”, said Mr Usher.
He added: “Just under 50 per cent of the workforce at the Monkbar hail from outside the UK. Without them we simply could not function. York’s tourism industry is absolutely booming, but many businesses are struggling to fill vacancies.
“Last December, the Monkbar Hotel hosted a jobs summit brought about by the chronic shortage of trained chefs. And the longer the government dithers over what rights EU nationals will or will not have, the greater the staffing shortage will become.
“I welcome last night’s intervention by the House of Lords. My staff are worried about their future here in the UK. Some have been with us for more than a decade, and they are fearful that the rights they currently enjoy will be taken away from them.”