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UK Commits to 45000 Seasonal Agricultural Worker Visas

The United Kingdom has decided to grant 45,000 visas to individuals who were associated with the agricultural sector.

Shivam Dwivedi
UK Commits to 45000 Seasonal Agricultural Worker Visas (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)
UK Commits to 45000 Seasonal Agricultural Worker Visas (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

The United Kingdom government has made a commitment to allocate 45,000 visas for seasonal workers in the agricultural sector for the upcoming year. This decision comes despite pressure from some members of the ruling Conservative party to reduce immigration. Net migration has been steadily increasing following a decline during the pandemic, and it is projected to reach a record high this year, according to reports from British media. Official figures regarding migration are expected to be released later this month.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, known for her hardline stance on immigration, expressed the belief that the UK should be able to train its own lorry drivers and fruit pickers instead of relying on immigration. However, Downing Street has defended the decision to continue granting visas to seasonal workers. A spokesperson stated that the current rules allow for flexibility in adjusting the system based on the needs of the UK, emphasizing the historically low unemployment rate in the country.

In addition to the visa allocation, the government has introduced a new set of measures to support the farming industry. British farmers have faced significant challenges due to the disruption of supply chains caused by the pandemic and rising costs of fertilizers, feed, fuel, and energy, partly driven by the conflict in Ukraine. The stricter immigration rules following Brexit have made it more difficult for farmers to hire workers from EU member states, which they have traditionally relied upon. Moreover, the industry is also experiencing competition from imported products.

In preparation for the UK Farm to Fork Summit hosted by Downing Street, the government has announced plans to provide greater protections for farmers in future trade deals and prioritize new export opportunities. In an open letter addressed to British farmers, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized that British farming and produce should not be overlooked and reassured them that their concerns would be taken seriously.

Furthermore, the government has allocated over £168 million (193 million euros) in grants to support farmers this year in their pursuit of new technologies and innovative farming methods. This investment aims to drive advancements in the agricultural sector and enhance its sustainability. The decision to award visas to seasonal workers in agriculture, along with the package of measures to support the industry, demonstrates the UK government's recognition of the challenges faced by farmers and their commitment to bolstering the sector.

By providing necessary support, protections, and opportunities for growth, the government aims to ensure the long-term viability and success of British farming and the production of high-quality British goods.

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