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Letter to Prime Minister

Oil bosses fear Brexit could impact on ‘critical’ jobs

Deirdre MichieOil industry bosses have warned Prime Minister Theresa May of the need to ensure they continue to have access to overseas workers to fill crucial positions.

Trade body Oil & Gas UK commissioned a study which shows 70% of the workers in the industry are skilled, with one in two holding managerial roles that are often “critical for projects”.

It says: “Oil & Gas UK understands that these skilled roles filled by EU workers are often critical for projects and asks Government to consider these posts when developing domestic immigration policy.”

In a letter to Mrs May it has called on the government to develop an immigration policy that “assesses the potential impact and opportunities of Brexit on the sector”.

Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “We are becoming a more globally competitive industry, but we continue to be very sensitive to any additional burdens either in relation to cost, or restrictions on the movement of key personnel required for critical operations. 

“Our request of Government is that any change, whether domestic or European, is managed in a manner that minimises risk to the oil and gas industry and provides predictability and clarity wherever possible, through constructive dialogue and consultation.”

Oil & Gas UK highlighted its concerns in a letter sent to the Prime Minister on Monday.

Research by the group shows that:

  • Around £73 billion worth of oil and gas related trade (fuel and non-fuel) flows between the UK and the rest of world
  • Approximately £61 billion of this is related to traded goods, which may be subject to tariffs (services account for the remaining £12 billion)
  • Under the current ‘status-quo’ scenario with the UK as part of the EU, the total cost of this trade in goods is around £600 million per annum (less than 2% of the total value of trade subject to tariffs)
  • Under a worst-case scenario where the UK reverts to WTO rules with the EU and the rest of the world, the likely cost of trade will almost double to around £1.1 billion per annum; assuming trading behaviours remain unchanged
  • If the UK can negotiate minimal tariffs with the EU and improved tariffs with the rest of the world, the total cost of trade could fall by around £100 million per annum to £500 million

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