The Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference made it clear that immigration control was to be a priority when the UK negotiates to leave the EU.
She also indicated that the UK should no longer be subject to the European Court of Justice. This would effectively mean an end to free movement of people which member states consider to be essential for full membership of the single market.
The PM’s statements also imply that free movement but with an emergency brake is not under consideration.
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.
Work permits confined to skilled workers could reduce net EU migration by around 100,000 a year.
The government should avoid offering concessions on immigration in exchange for concessions on trade matters.
There may be a case for limited and temporary schemes such as the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.