Why Brexit could be damaging for our security industry…
Pre-Brexit British citizens could move easily to another EU country and citizens of EU countries equally free to move to the UK and according to the 2014 Labour Force Survey, 79% of the 1.73 million EU nationals living in the UK were in employment.
The UK was rocked by the seismic decision to leave the EU with many facing economic uncertainty as a result and whilst there has been no immediate impact the next few years will reveal the real outcome of the referendum result.
It is highly likely that the UK will negotiate a deal for the free movement of people for the benefit of its economy, but given the anti-immigration stance of many Leave supporters, this will probably be one of the most contentious issues and is hard to predict. In addition, many commenters say it’s likely that British immigration controls could then ‘cherry-pick’ its immigrants, giving preference perhaps to say French and German immigrants, with Romanians and Bulgarians getting a far shoddier deal than their British colleagues.
Yair Daren is the Israeli-born owner of Security Risk Specialists and he is concerned about how Brexit will directly impact the security industry in the UK. He explains,
Many of our workforce are highly trained, foreign workers. It is likely that people will need new documentation to work in the UK and this isn’t going to be straightforward.
If you currently employ EU workers you should ensure that they have the right to work in the UK and have all the necessary visas and checks in place for non-EU Nationals.
The rights of EU nationals living in the UK looks set to be a major hurdle for the Brexit negotiations.
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said:
How can EU citizens’ rights be guaranteed under EU law when EU law won’t run in the UK? No other independent and sovereign country in the world would agree to a thing like that.
University of Portsmouth colleagues Professor Mark Button and Peter Stiernstedt in a recent published article highlight potential problems that Brexit might bring. These include impacts on the working time directive (hours worked and paid holidays), equal pay, maternity rights, TUPE protections, health and safety, public procurement and employees’ rights to information and consultation.
As the authors recognise, clearly they would not all disappear in the event of a Brexit, but many would become viable targets for the Conservative right wing that would be likely to be leading our government in the medium term.
Most alarmingly might be their concern that it may lead to a watering down of regulation within the industry.
The security industry has long suffered with a reputation of poorly trained heavies doing long hours with poor pay. There has been a positive shift in organisations now seeking the proper accreditation from approved bodies such as SIA and implementing rigorous training for staff. In the light of recent terrorist attacks in the UK, such as the Westminster attack and the bombing at the Manchester Arena it is frightening that there is a possibility of a return to poorly motivated guards with insufficient training. This is a truly worrying future.
Security Risk Specialists aim to raise the standards of security and customer service, and do so by investing in the practice of its personnel. In addition to the standard SIA Training and ISO 9001 accreditation, SRS training includes exercises such as Israeli Krav Maga and also self-defence techniques.
This approach stems directly from Daren’s time serving as a Lieutenant, on the frontline, in the Israeli Armed Forces. He has operational expertise with counter-terrorism, protecting physical facilities, protecting diplomatic staff and high profile individuals.
“In Israel stop and search patrols and highly visible security is a way of life,” explains Daren, “a tailored security approach could well become a new reality for the UK.”
In the last few days we have seen shopping centres on high alert and concert venues postponing performances. Car parks have been closed and random checks put in place.
Daren argues, “Rather than cut back on security it is something that should be firmly on everyone’s agenda. Increased terrorist activity means we should bolster security and invest in the front line who guard events and premises and know how to respond swiftly and decisively.”