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Bitesized Blighty: February 21, 2020

Hector Don

  • Home secretary Priti Patel defended the UK government’s proposed post-Brexit immigration regime on Wednesday, saying businesses should invest in training “economically inactive” people and develop automation technology to fill any future gaps in the labour supply. The government has presented the new system, which would come into force after the Brexit transition period ends on January 1, 2021, as “points-based”. However, some immigration lawyers say it is far cruder than points-based systems operating elsewhere worldwide. Applicants must reach 70 points to qualify, with migrants awarded points for speaking English, the level of salary being offered by the prospective employer, and postgraduate qualifications.
  • University lecturers and staff across the UK will begin a second round of strikes on Thursday after their employers refused to bow to their union’s demands over pay and pensions. The University and College Union (UCU) said its members would proceed with 14 days of industrial action, which will include cancelling lectures at 74 universities, causing potential disruption to more than 1m students. The action will spark further financial uncertainty for universities, which are under pressure from rising costs, intensifying competition for domestic students and uncertainty over the impact of the coronavirus on income from Chinese students, who pay higher fees.
  • To kiss or not to kiss? London is a global city but it still has its own rules on how to meet, greet, drink and dress. Brits are said to be polite yet unfriendly. We are happy to report that this, for the most part, remains true. Increasingly, though, they are shedding their reputation for “Le fair-play britannique”. Perhaps it is the Americanisation of business culture. Or maybe this reputation was never justified in the first place. This FT feature provides a comprehensive guide to British business etiquette regarding greetings, meetings, socialising, dress code and correspondence. 

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