It is deeply misleading for Rachel Cunliffe to assert in her article:
There are 2.4m EU citizens currently employed in the UK, and with unemployment at record lows, it is hard to see how those workers could be immediately replaced with Brits.
(3 November 2017)
First, there is no need for European workers to be ‘immediately replaced with Brits’ as there is still no net outflow of EU workers. Indeed, net EU migration stands at +127,000 a year – quite the reverse of the ‘Brexodus’ that some have predicted.
In any case the present stock of EU migrants could be maintained even if net migration were to fall to zero – in effect, that would be “one in and one out”. Furthermore, even if there was to be some outflow, there are nearly 1.5 million unemployed in the UK and over a million part time workers who cannot find a full time job. Employers could and should turn to them.
In the light of the referendum result, it would be absurd for the government to assert control over EU migration only to ‘increase’ the overall net migration total, as Ms Cunliffe suggests.
It would be much better to expand highly skilled work permits to EU migrants while restricting the substantial inflow into lower-skilled work, perhaps with temporary exceptions for sectors that could show evidence of a shortage. This would allow business to continue recruiting the very best talent from Europe while reducing net migration by about 100,000 a year on recent levels.
See the published letter. Click the below link and scroll to p. 18.