Since Britain voted to leave the European Union over a year ago, millions of EU citizens living in the U.K. and over a million British expats in other EU states have been living in a prolonged state of insecurity about their future.
Ali Capper, who runs a 200-year-old fruit and hops farm with her husband Richard, told CNBC that the ongoing uncertainty regarding citizens' rights was reaching "crisis point."
Capper explained the West Midlands farm typically employed around 70 seasonal workers from EU countries – such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria – to help harvest crops each spring and fall. However, since the Brexit vote, Stocks Farm had found the recruitment process increasingly difficult.
"While we're concerned about getting the numbers we need this year, next year we're very concerned. I mean with all the confusion and concern about status … Why would you choose to come to Britain?" Capper said in a phone interview.
She argued the ongoing precariousness regarding citizens' protections; safety concerns amid an increase in xenophobic attacks and a weaker U.K. currency had all dented Britain's appeal among EU workers. Sterling has fallen by around 16 percent against the dollar and 18 percent against the euro since the night of June's referendum.
"We're reaching crisis point for all businesses, we need to know what is happening and this is true whether you're running a business in care, construction or farming. There's just no clarity at all, we've not moved a single step further forward since the referendum," she added.
The first hurdle for Britain and Europe during formal Brexit talks is to agree on the rights of EU citizens in Britain, and of U.K. citizens in the EU, with both sides calling for an urgent resolution in order to resolve any lingering uncertainty.