Leeds-based business says it will pay UK settlement fee for all its EU employees


Placard held by an anti-Brexit protester in Westminster. Image: Getty

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A language translation and interpreting company has announced it will pay the UK settlement fee for all its EU national staff.

Leeds-based business, thebigword, has set funds aside to cover the £65 fee for its 57 EU workers.

Under the government's EU Settlement Scheme, EU nationals without a permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain will have to pay the fee if they want to stay in the UK post-Brexit.



The company's CEO, Nihat Arkan, revealed to talkRADIO that around 20 members of their EU national staff had left the company over the last two months due to uncertainty around Brexit.

The company is now campaigning for linguists to be given priority status with their applications, especially those providing interpreting services for government agencies and the NHS.


'We want them to be in a protected job'

"We want them to be in a protected job, so they need to be listed in the government's final documents as protected professionals so they can travel in and out of the UK territory without any additional visa or processing," Mr Arkan told talkRADIO.

"The UK has the fifth largest economy in the world from a GDP perspective. I look at the importance of tomorrow's competitive world, you have China one side, India is coming and definitely north America.

"You need to have the skills know how and experience in the country to be able to compete better, and not lose your posirion as the fifth largest economy."

The settlement scheme has come under fire from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who likened it to the events that sparked the Windrush scandal in 2018.

He has called on the government to waive the fee for EU nationals who lived in the UK before the Brexit vote took place.