Brexit: EU migration study launched27/07/17Government
The UK government is to commission a ‘detailed assessment’ of the costs and benefits of EU migrants as it plans how to manage immigration after Brexit.
A new set of guidelines is needed for when EU free movement ends in the UK.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has requested that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) study current migration trends and assess the impact of a reduction in numbers.
She said it would be a “major step in ensuring we create a system that works in the best interests of the country”.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said organisations ‘urgently’ needed to know what this would look like, both in any ‘transitional’ period after March 2019 and beyond.
The Liberal Democrats also said the study had been commissioned a year too late.
Immigration was one of the focal topics of last year’s EU referendum campaign, and ministers have promised to ‘take back control’ of the UK’s borders as they negotiate Brexit.
They have also promised to bring total net migration – the difference between the number of people moving to the UK and the number leaving – from the EU and the rest of the world to below 100,000.
It was 248,000 last year.
An immigration bill, which will reveal the government’s chosen technique, was included in last month’s Queen’s Speech.
The Home Office has asked MAC to consider the regional distribution of EU migration, which sectors are most reliant on it, and the role of temporary and seasonal workers.
The committee will also study the “economic and social costs and benefits of EU migration to the UK economy”, its impact on competitiveness, and whether there would be benefits to focusing migration on high-skilled jobs.