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Almost half of UK workers worry Brexit will ruin their chances of finding a job abroad

Caitlin Morrison
Younger workers are more likely to want to work abroad, the study shows: Reuters

Almost half of British workers are worried they will be unable to work abroad after Brexit, a new study has revealed.

More than 30 per cent of UK workers are interested in moving overseas to work, while that number increases to 41 per cent in the 18-36 age bracket, according to research by jobs site Monster.co.uk.

Sinead Bunting, vice president of marketing for Europe at Monster, said: “While Brits are concerned about the impact of Brexit on their ability to work abroad, it certainly hasn’t dented their desire to.

“The benefits are widely noted, not only can it dramatically increase confidence levels but also our personal business networks. [It also] broadens our perspective and give us a host of new and transferable skills.”

It is still unclear how Brexit will affect British people’s ability to move elsewhere for work, but as Theresa May has consistently said – free movement of people will come to an end when the UK leaves the EU.

In the Chequers agreement struck last week, the government’s stance on ending free movement was reiterated. Few details were added, beyond a pledge to create a “mobility framework so that UK and EU citizens can continue to travel to each other’s territories, and apply for study and work – similar to what the UK may offer other close trading partners in the future”.

Meanwhile, the Chequers deal has been cast in some doubt following a series of senior resignations from Ms May’s cabinet on Sunday and Monday, meaning the uncertainty around workers’ rights after Brexit could last even longer.

Adding to anxiety about employment law is the fact that Dominic Raab, who has replaced David Davis as Brexit secretary, has in the past called for Britain to use negotiations with the EU to scrap workers’ rights.

Mr Raab called for opt outs from EU employment regulations, including those that guarantee employees time off and limit the number of hours staff can be made to work.

Concerns about EU workers’ status in Britain post-Brexit has already given rise to a worsening skills shortage. In June, think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research warned that the end of free movement posed a serious threat to the UK’s social care system.

Meanwhile, the construction industry has been struggling to recruit for months, with almost half of employers in the sector worried that hiring will become even more difficult over the next two years.