EU citizens should be given ‘unrestricted access’ to UK jobs after Brexit, the Bar Council says

Bar chiefs urge negotiators to protect the free movement of people

Bar Council big wigs have recommended that EU citizens be given “unrestricted access to UK jobs” post-Brexit.

Though seemingly admitting immigration was one of the key factors driving the Leave campaign’s win (the issue was “of particular salience” in the referendum debate), the professional association says EU citizens should still be able to enter the United Kingdom without a visa and seek work without restriction.

The Bar Council — which represents barristers across England and Wales — describes its recommendation as an “intermediate position”, which is less restrictive than a “work permit/prior authorisation system”, but more restriction than “the current system of free movement.”

While the report, ‘The Brexit Papers’, does not go into depth about what this system will look like, it does say “consideration” should be given to a number of factors including “the ability to seek work without restriction”, “free movement for the self-employed” and “free movement for students and the self-sufficient.”

Details are thin on the ground, but it seems the Bar Council is happy to conclude that the free movement of labour is a good thing. Though anti-EU battle cries often cite European migration as a source of UK job displacement and high unemployment, the Bar Council’s report says:

Academic studies demonstrate that EU migration and the taxation of EU citizens in work leads to a net fiscal gain and provides the resources from which the government may fund any extra provision for housing, education, and healthcare.

In what the Bar Council describes as its “comprehensive and easy-to-read legal guide on Brexit” (we think it looks like it’s been made on Paint), it shares its fear the government will “impair” what works well at present, and will end up “imposing a sub-optimal system that ill-fits the society it seeks to serve.” Stark words given that Prime Minister Theresa May is supposedly poised to trigger Article 50 in the coming days.

You can read the full Bar Council report here:

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Why is the bar council getting political? Not part of their remit, nor influence.

Their priority should be education, training and welfare of members of the bar. Make no mistake, it’s in crisis and there is plenty for them to be getting on with.

Education: exorbitant fees for the bptc.

Training: 12k pupillages on offer – does not meet housing, council tax, food, travel. Structured training thereafter.

Welfare: stress, mental health and substance abuse issues at the bar. This is the one that I find most alarming – the health issues at the bar.

– my question to the bar council: what are you doing to tackle this?


It represents its members, many of whom are EU citizens, you complete and utter moron.

Not Amused

Who on earth do these people think that they are?

How can I disaffiliate from this institution?

Just Anonymous

Why just EU citizens?

Why not the entire world?

It’s a serious question. If “unrestricted access” is really so beneficial, why should we restrict it to an arbitrary class of citizens: EU citzens? Surely logic dictates we should be offering it to everyone.

Of course, no-one suggests opening the floodgates to the entire world. And the fact they don’t causes me to conclude that this obsession with allowing unrestricted access to EU citizens comes from ideology, and not economics.


Net fiscal gain is simply not true.

How many EU migrants are on a full range of state benefits and consuming public services with immediate entitlement without never ever having contributed anything?

Contrast this with the much fairer and ethical points based system of immigration for non EU countries where you need a job to come and live and support yourself.

EU migrants come here with no job, and an immediate entitlement to full housing benefit in the private sector as a starting point, council tax benefit, child benefit, jsa….everything ……non EU migrants have to actually work.and contribute which is the preferred and normal state of affairs in every other country on this planet……

Restricting access to state benefits was one of the key issues that David Cameron asked a for at the Feb 2016 pre – Brexit negotiations, and he did not get it. It was recognised as a long term problem then, even by the most ardent pro EU campaigners.


The part that always got to me was that they EU migrants could actually claim benefits for their family members back in their country of origin, who had never set foot in the country.

I do agree with Anon 09:21 – the Bar has a number of crises that should be resolved before the Bar Council start to get involved in politics.


It isn’t an issue.

The vast majority of EU citizens in the UK are employed and have never claimed benefits.

You have believed the lies of the No campaign and are no doubt some sort of 20-something right wing clever dick – the worst kind.



Have you ever tried to get benefits? You couldn’t begin to imagine the horror stories (of difficulty and bad treatment) I’ve heard of the process – by UK born nationals, btw. This is aside from what is often written in the press regarding how the system actually works.

This notion that there’s a load of EU immigrants who arrive and live off benefits is absolute rubbish.


Anon, do you know, how many exactly are on “Full range of benefits” ? It would be a very interesting set of stats indeed. As an EU immigrant of 11 years myself, I have had zilch benefits taken. I came in Feb 2005, was working within 3 days of arriving into the country. It wasn’t like I was promised something or even helped by someone. Simply went to the JobCentre and applied. And it wasn’t “Oh they are willing to work for less money” crap. I had absolutely no advantage over any other applicants, it was equal and fair to all.
Now, hear this: I enrolled into Uni, Full-time. In order to be able to pay my tuition fees, I had to continue to work Full-time as well, just like that, lectures in the morning, and work nights. Sleep was a luxury. However, I paid all fees myself, without any bursaries, what have you. Didn’t want to be in debt by the end of it, y’know. Graduated, got promoted, twice, within my company. I did not need any benefits, nor I wanted to go and ask for anything. I contributed, but not taken. Now, for every story, like yours, there’s also a story like mine.
Also, it is absolutely true, that “modern day british teen/early 20’s” are incredibly lazy, unwilling to put any effort whatsoever. I was in the position of employing people, and trust me, I’ve not favored anyone over their nationality, sex or anything else. 7 out of 10 British youngsters either:
1.Didn’t show up at all to the interview
2. Showed up just to earn a “tick” that they are “actively looking for a job” to continue to leech.
3. Weren’t prepared to sacrifice their Friday and Saturday nights, in order to actually get a job itself. (It paid extra for the unsocial hours)
4.Started a job, lasted 2 days, then “no show, no call”
Most of EU guys, however, brought their excellent work ethic, reliability, and commitment. It must be noted, of course, that there were notable exceptions of course, but the trend was very clear.
Moral of the story is: next time you’ll hear that someone is from EU country, don’t automatically assume that they’re “stealing jobs” and “leeching benefits”. Have a good day 🙂

AO Trainee

No. We don’t need anymore Polish and Romanians running over for benefits and housing. Piss off!


The bar do need them however, especially the legal aid bar!

You don’t see the vested interest in this report?


EU citizen here. I think we should put more restrictions on EVERYBODY coming here, including EU citizens. The way I see it, we have got an incredible amount of lazy native and commonwealth Brits on benefits. It is a tragic situation for these people on benefits and we, as a society have moral duty to help them climb out of that hole and GET BACK TO WORK / GET THEIR FIRST JOB.*

*(particularly, so we can finally stop spending around 1/4 of our tax revenue on welfare)


There is a 2 tier immigration system in the UK at the moment.

Non EU: have to come here on the basis of employment they have already secured and get a visa on that basis. They do not have entitlement to state benefits and by virtue of their employment are paying PAYE and NI contributions immediately. For essential stuff that everyone needs – schools, nhs, roads etc

EU immigration – no job requirement. Immediate state benefit at maximum entitlement. There is literally no incentive to work or contribute for masses of people that have come to the UK, while public services cannot cope with increased demand. There is not even an EU subsidy to help memeber states like the UK absorb the numbers and ease the burden on essential servuces like the nhs, housing, schools.

– there’s the difference. It’s not a case of “EVERYBODY” or the “commonwealth” (who have absolutely zero preferential treatment for immigration, and have to get a job beforehand like all non EU migrants, which is a sensible and reasonable approach).

Mass migration was supposed to be a panacea for the cost of the aging population problem. However, it has produced a mass of people dependant on state benefits which becomes an entrenched familial pattern across generations. How does that fix an aging population and low birth rate when the introduced population is essentially non – productive, and consuming more than they contribute?

Badly managed. Non EU migration was at least a way for this to be done in a managed way, where you could see each individual was at least, generating an income and fulfilling a job needed in society (nurse, it technician, doctor, chef, carer..etc etc)



The entire point of leave winning the vote was to ensure that there is fairness in the London labour market.

There are quotas for numbers of employees in other financial centres.

It’s about time British graduates get a fair crack at the high paying jobs.


If you haven’t got the sizzle or substance to get a job in the world’s premier financial centre, maybe pick a different career?

And just because we have the leading financial centre here, doesn’t mean you’d be guaranteed to get a job in the various lesser centres, even if they did let you in. Particularly with such defensive, insecure opinions.


When I read posts like that ^, It gives me such pleasure that Brexit is happening.

Suck it up.


London voted overwhelming to stay you utter pollock – so most Londoners disagree with your ‘London labour market’ warblings.

Immigrant Took My TC

The day any EU immigrant sets foot in London, automatically he/she gets housing benefit, unemployment benefit, child benefit, access to unlimited NHS use, state education for free etc. This is utter bullshit. Why on earth should our taxes fund this nonsense?! There have been so many cases where immigrants as soon as they come they go to the housing office and state they are homeless and unemployed and get benefits on the spot. Also, I personally know a Polish family who get child credit and there children live in Warsaw!!! They are sending the money back to build a home in Poland.


And the Polish family you’ve made up probably actually work here, give money to HMRC, and are therefore fully entitled to do what the fvck they like with any credits/benefits they lawfully receive.

Is it because they are Polish you have a problem?

Three Little Piggies

If you’d actually researched that child benefit was £20 per week, you’d have picked another benefit and your completely made up story would have been more credible. Are the building a house out of twigs back in Poland, like the little piggy who got his house blown down by the woolf?


This is not very clever at all from the Bar Council, which seems to think that its core task is virtue signalling. The quoted statement about academic studies demonstrating that EU migration leads to a net fiscal gain is self-evidently dubious: in his budget speech, the Chancellor pointed out that 1% of taxpayers pay 27% of income tax raised. To be a net contributor to the tax system, you need to be earning a lot, lot more than a Polish barista but fat cat English barristers just want their coffee served efficiently and cheaply.

Lord Farage II

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Lord Farage II

Katie King stop being a control freak and deleting posts! This is a democratic country with free speech.


No, it’s a privately owned website that can do as it likes. Numpty.

Lord Farage II

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Mr Immigration

The comments on instant access to benefits by immigrants is false.
EU citizens are required to be exercising a treaty right.
Visa entrants need to prove they will not have access to public funds before entry clearance is granted

Mr Immigration

Very sorry your commentators are legally illiterate.


I find it irksome that the Bar Council is making such statements but does not appear to be saying anything about barristers’ rights to be EU lawyers.

Lawrence Power

Can we please let in all Nigerian asylum seekers who pretend to be gay


The Bar Council is not a political party. It should keep its mouth shut and concentrate on the job it exists for which is protecting and promoting the interests of the Bar.


It is doing just that – representing the interests of its many EU citizen members.


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