November 30, 2016
There is a perfectly feasible way forward on immigration which meets the main concerns of all participants, except for some relating to new arrivals of low paid migrant workers.
That is the conclusion of a paper being issued by Migration Watch UK.
The paper calls for early publication of the UK’s objectives on immigration (but not the strategy) so as to help calm concerns at home without weakening our hand abroad. It suggests what the ten key objectives should be.
The broad objective should be that visa free access should continue for all movement in both directions except for workers.
Skilled EU workers would need a work permit similar to that now required for non EU workers, but it would not necessarily have to be capped. [The existing cap for non EU skilled workers has never been reached on an annual basis].
Unskilled jobs would not qualify for work permits. We have estimated that this could reduce the net inflow from the EU by about 100,000 a year
However, it might be necessary to introduce a “key workers” scheme to help employers to adjust.
It would have to be time limited and tapered to give employers the incentive to train up our existing work force. Such a scheme would also help East European countries, that have been the main source of low paid labour, which are experiencing a decline in their younger populations.
Commenting, Mr Alp Mehmet, Vice Chairman of Migration Watch UK said:
Boris Johnson was right to make it clear that we are leaving the EU but we are not leaving Europe. It is important that we retain and develop our many links with Europe while also tackling a significant part of the mass migration that has been so troubling for the British public.