HOPS supports an announcement by the Conservative party to quadruple the number of migrant farm workers allowed into the UK from outside the EU in 2020.

The numbers of non-EU migrant workers permitted to work in the UK under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme would increase from 2,500 to 10,000, as stated by the Defra secretary Theresa Villiers.

If the UK leaves the EU on 31 January with a transition agreement in place, then EU citizens will be able to move to the UK to live and work until 31 December 2020 as they do now, but will need to apply for a UK immigration status afterwards.

HOPS Operations Director Sarah Boparan said: “As a longstanding, experienced labour provider, HOPS supports the expansion of a seasonal workers scheme to compliment the EU labour and provide the 70,000 allocation required in this sector.

“HOPS will continue to liaise with Defra about future expansion opportunities and we have the infrastructure in place to ensure ethical, responsible recruitment is continued both inside and outside of the EU.”

The SAWS scheme is currently in a two-year pilot phase that is set to end in December 2020.