Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

UK should not give preferential immigration treatment to EU citizens after Brexit

UK should not give preferential immigration treatment to EU citizens after Brexit

It even suggests that farmers should help pay for a scheme to attract migrants to work on Scotland's crisis-hit fruit farms.

"If the in a position where it is deciding the main features of its immigration policy, our recommendation is that there should be a less restrictive regime for higher-skilled workers than for lower-skilled workers in a system where there is no preference for EEA over non-EEA workers", the report said.

"Any new system that constricts and constrains businesses' ability to grow or to deal with changing consumer demand will do nothing to improve wage growth and may increase the cost of food and drink in the long term".

- Avoid sector-based schemes for lower-skilled workers, with the possible exception of a seasonal agricultural workers scheme.

The Home Office informed cabinet ministers last week of its intention to copy the existing migration system used to determine non-EU migration and apply it to Europeans who arrive in Britain after December 2020, according to reports.

The MAC said that if this was not abolished, the government should extend the number of jobs which are exempt from the test by lowering the salary threshold for exemption.

The projection also recommended removing a cap on higher-skilled migrant workers, as it's believed they contribute more to the British economy.

"This means that our relatives struggle to get visas to come to the UK for family celebrations, restaurants can not employ skilled chefs from overseas, our temples can not bring in priests, and we can not bring people in for business, cultural or sporting as well as the thousands of talented professionals like doctors, teachers and engineers", said Gujarati-origin Priti Patel, former UK Cabinet minister and a prominent pro-Brexit campaigner.

It also suggests that the Government should start an official National Conversation on Immigration, run by the Migration Advisory Committee.

Theresa May's plans for a tough new immigration regime were given a boost yesterday after a key report called for an end to low-skilled migration from the European Union after Brexit.

Matthew Fell, policy director at business organisation the CBI, backed the proposal to scrap the Tier 2 cap but warned plans for low-skilled workers are "inadequate" and risk "damaging labour shortages".

The report calls for an annual "Migration Day" in Parliament, where ministers are held accountable for their performances against a three-year immigration strategy - in place of the current net migration target. "However, given the important role migrant workers have played, and the already high levels of employment in the United Kingdom workforce, it is crucial that the post-Brexit immigration system allows us to continue to hire workers of varying skill levels, regardless of where they are from".

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its report on the impact of European Economic Area (EEA) migration in the UK.

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