Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has announced that the British government intends to recruit 1,000 extra border staff as part of its preparations for Brexit, bringing the number of new Border Force workers recruited since October 2017 to 1300.
Some of these positions are likely to be created by natural wastage, as present staff retire or leave for other reasons, and a Home Office representative could not say exactly how many additional jobs Brexit would ultimately create.
Ms Rudd stated that these numbers came from careful analysis of the country’s post-Brexit needs, but she confirmed that the requirements will be reviewed as the UK draws closer to severing ties with Europe.
A nationwide advertising campaign will soon be underway as the government rushes to fill these positions.
The aim of this recruitment drive is to ensure the high quality of UK border security in all areas of the country. Consequently, new staff will be allocated to different regions of the British Isles.
Cost to taxpayers
This heightened need for security is expensive for the country, with £450 million of spending planned for the next two years. Three million EU citizens live and work in the UK at present, and it is thought that the majority of these will apply for settled status, in order to stay in Britain after December 2020.
£60 million of the total amount has already been allocated to deal with the huge amount of casework this will cause. This sum supports 1200 staff, who will enable the registration of EU citizens during 2017/2018.
The Chancellor has allocated an additional £395 million for the 2018/2019 financial year. Of this, £170 million will go to continue the work needed to register EU members as of settled status, and £150 million will be used to strengthen border security.
The total is the largest amount allocated to any department, and has been strongly criticised by Labour MP, Stephen Doughty, who tweeted his shock and concerns, as he wondered why the Treasury has given the Home Office almost half a billion pounds to deal with Brexit, at a time when police budgets are under enormous pressures.
The financial impact is not the only problem that post-Brexit security issues have brought to light. Other parliamentary legislation is subject to delay.
The Home Secretary has explained that the urgency of the settled status scheme is responsible for the delay in passing new immigration laws. She states that this may impact the control of migration, but the need to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK has now been achieved, and the urgency of the immigration bill has been reduced.
Nevertheless, in spite of the cost and changing priorities, it is evident that the number of people employed as border guards will increase as Brexit approaches, and new opportunities will emerge in this sector.
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