PR agency boss offers to buy all his staff associate EU citizenship

The owner of a Manchester PR agency has offered to fund all his 23 staff to obtain associate EU citizenship.

James Crawford: associate EU citizenship is 'a good employee benefit'
James Crawford: associate EU citizenship is 'a good employee benefit'

It was reported last week that the EU will "fast-track" its offer to the UK that its citizens could pay to take "associate EU citizenship" once the country leaves the bloc. It has been suggested this would cost up to £1,000.

James Crawford, the boss of Manchester firm PR Agency One, said: "Most of our staff the day after the referendum were pretty gutted". He said he was only aware of two of the 23 having voted for Brexit. All staff are UK citizens, he added.

"I just felt it would be a good employee benefit," said Crawford, who founded the business in 2011.

Asked about how he would handle the cost if all staff were to take up his offer, Crawford, who is the agency's sole owner, said: "If you spread it over a year, it’s really not a great deal. It doesn’t really matter if I take out £230,000 or £250,000 as profit from the business, it's still a lot of money. What is important is that it’s difficult to recruit good people."

Crawford said that the firm's biggest client was Irish gift cards firm One4all, and that it had other clients in several other EU nations.

Asked about the comments of Marshall Manson, the UK CEO of Ogilvy PR, that the Brexit vote showed how his London-based staff risked being out of touch, he said the same could be true of non-London PR people. "Even in Manchester - and esepcially in south Manchester, which is pretty much the most liberal, left-wing place outside of perhaps London - there are people stuck in the bubbles and we do all need to get out there and see the rest of the world," he said.

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