December 15, 2016
Implementing different immigration policies for separate parts of the UK would be a recipe for chaos and would risk infuriating the public by undermining efforts to reduce migration.
That is the conclusion of a briefing paper being published by Migration Watch UK.
The paper also finds that regional immigration schemes would be extremely complex and may distort competition.
Various proposals for retaining free movement for EU citizens in London and Scotland have been put forward.
Such ideas, if implemented, would further undermine public confidence in immigration control by leading to an increase in enforcement problems and clandestine migration.
Yet opinion polls suggest that majorities of voters even in London and Scotland, as well as across the rest of the UK, want net migration reduced.
Schemes already in place in countries such as Australia and Canada, where the objective has generally been to increase immigration, have had questionable success and, in any case, are irrelevant to the situation in the UK.
Mr Alp Mehmet, Vice Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:
Divergent immigration policies in different parts of the UK would be a recipe for chaos. A better proposal would be to extend the UK’s current work permit system to cover EU nationals. This would cause much less disruption and would also, crucially, respect the public’s desire to see net migration much reduced.
Also read Migration Watch UK's more detailed analysis of 'Scotland's need for skilled migrant workers', published on 15th December 2016.