Marine contractors warn Brexit work permit fall-out is already risking renewable energy projects

With formal negotiations now started on British Independence from the EU bloc, there are growing fears that Brexit – whether ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ – is already having a negative impact.

In repatriating control over Britain’s borders as a result of Brexit, it means that millions of EU residents will lose the right to reside and work in the UK.

As well the agriculture and construction sectors, there are indications that ‘Brexit fall-out’ is beginning to impact adversely on the energy sector, particularly offshore.

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has welcomed a short term concession by the British Home Office to immigration rules concerning seafarers joining vessels engaged in the construction and maintenance of offshore wind projects.

However, IMCA notes that the recent change by the Home Office of immigration control over such seafarers – due to resume after 21 October 2017 –  is a deviation from decades of common practice and is causing ‘real operational difficulties.’

An IMCA spokesman added: “Consequently, we would encourage the Home Office to reach out to industry in order that its new application of the legal framework relating to seafarers can be introduced in a way that is consistent with the operational needs of industry – without risk of damaging key projects that are critical to delivering renewable energy capacity in the UK.

“The success of such projects are schedule, technology, and safety dependent, and a tapered adoption of the new approach to immigration rules would be welcome in order to give industry certainty and stability in planning future investments.”

The IMCA represents the vast majority of offshore marine contractors, covering offshore diving, marine, remote systems, ROVs, and offshore surveying.

See also:

Access to skilled workforce is a Brexit priority, along with clarity and commitment on energy policy during the negotiations – Energy Institute

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