Immigration and Brexit - A summary of our recent work

Updated 19 December, 2016

In view of the government’s silence on their Brexit work, we have published our own suggestions on immigration.

We believe that the best approach would be to extend our existing system of work permits to skilled workers from the EU. Around 30,000 would be required to meet the needs of business and to allow for some expansion

If this scheme was confined to skilled workers we estimate that it could reduce net EU migration by around 100,000 a year – an estimate that has not been seriously challenged.

We have suggested that the government should avoid offering concessions on immigration in exchange for concessions on trade matters and we do not believe that an emergency brake is feasible or desirable. There may be a case for limited and temporary schemes such as the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme. We have also considered the impact of leaving the EU and an end to free moment of people on the population of Scotland as well as the economic impact.

More generally we have published a list of the ten broad objectives that the government might adopt on immigration matters.