Raisa McNab, Association of Translation Companies' CEO Raisa McNab, Association of Translation Companies' CEO
Jan 16

PRIORITY STATUS BATTLE FOR EU LINGUISTS POST BREXIT

Although there was a resounding rejection of the UK Government's EU exit deal, the longterm position of linguists from EU countries living and working in Britain remains a major concern for EUATC founding members, the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) and many of its members.  

The ATC is campaigning for priority status for the linguist community living in the UK and providing interpreting for vital Government agencies and the National Health Service and, as part of the campaign Nihat Arkan, Global CEO and Larry Gould, Executive Chairman of EUATC Network Members thebigword, have met with Rachel Reeves MP. She chairs the UK's Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in Westminster. They shared concerns about the uncertain status of linguist and the company’s campaign for priority status. 

Rachel Reeves MP said: “Leaving the European Union will be bad for business and threatens the security of jobs and investment in our country. Local businesses like thebigword are really important for jobs and investment here in Leeds West. Many specialist skills, like those offered by linguists, are essential for thebigword and I hope the Government starts listening to businesses who are worried about Brexit and what it means for jobs and skills.” 

Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Translation Companies, Raisa McNab added: “We are pleased to have the support of thebigword in our efforts to obtain special provisions for interpreters and translators who play a vital role in many of our public services. We will continue to work with thebigword in the coming weeks and months to ensure that the linguist community are supported.”

Rachel Reeves MP also met with employees including staff members from other EU countries living in the UK. A key priority for thebigword has been to take steps to support the 57 EU nationals who are understandably concerned about their status in the UK. Having put funds aside, thebigword plans to sponsor their applications for settled status and support them throughout the process. 

thebigword have also formed a Brexit Committee led by the company’s Global Director of Operations, Mark Daley. With the shape of Brexit still to be defined, the committee has been tasked with preparing for every possible outcome. The Brexit Committee are charged with establishing the risks to employees, the global linguist community and the business in general. The company has taken steps to hedge funds and put aside a contingency fund to address any rising challenges upon EU exit.

Nihat Arkan, Chief Executive Officer at thebigword said: “We were delighted to welcome Rachel Reeves to our office, and we welcome her support in our campaign including writing to the Secretary of State. We want to ensure that our employees, linguist community and clients are reassured that thebigword is ready.”