Fewer UK visas granted for overseas businesses since Brexit vote, research reveals

A Union Jack flag in Cromer Beach.
Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A Union Jack flag in Cromer Beach. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Archant

Brexit could be affecting the desirability of the UK as a business destination, a law firm has suggested.

Research by Collyer Bristow showed the number of visas granted for overseas businesses to open a branch in the country fell by 11% last year.

There were 125 visas given to representatives of overseas firms, down from 140 the previous year.

James Badcock of Collyer Bristow, said: 'The drop in overseas business visas granted could mean the UK misses out on large amounts of investment and tax revenue.

'More visas have been applied for year on year, but far fewer have been granted since the Brexit vote. The figures suggest the Home Office has clamped down on overseas business visas since the vote.

'Overseas business visas can serve a valuable function in attracting often high-profit businesses from other countries to the UK, and can help to encourage trade, investment, innovation and competition.

'However, the government seems to be reluctant to promote the use of overseas business visas.'