London's Heathrow international airport will offer financial assistance to thousands of its European workers in order to try to secure their stay in the United Kingdom after Brexit, John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow's chief executive, told the Sky News broadcaster on Monday.
Heathrow will provide hundreds of thousands of pounds to its "valued" European workers in order to help them apply for a settled status, which would enable them to continue working in the United Kingdom, Holland-Kaye said, specifying that up to 2,600 people could make applications.
"They provide a hugely important role for an international business like ours in giving us a range of languages and a range of different cultural insights ... We're the UK's biggest port and we're expanding and, as we leave the EU, ironically we now really need those international people working here to make a success of that," Holland-Kaye said.
He voiced his belief that Heathrow, as a responsible employer, needed not just to protect its staff but also encourage other companies to follow suit.
Holland-Kaye is concerned that air freight will not be able to fully solve the problem of potential delays in trade across the Irish border after Brexit.
He emphasized that UK businesses needed certainty amid the looming Brexit in order to plan the transition period and ensure a successful withdrawal.