Report considers how new immigration policy can support economic challenges currently facing the UK
Institute for Public Policy Research assesses the implications of the new points-based immigration system
06 November 2020
A new briefing by the progressive think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) assesses the potential implications of the new points-based immigration system and considers how the new system can support the UK's economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can read the 44-page briefing here.
On the potential implications of the new points-based system, the report states: "All things being equal, it would be expected to lead to a reduction in the immigration of EU citizens and a (potentially smaller) increase in the immigration of non-EU citizens. Yet given the ongoing economic, social, and health challenges, it is not possible to make any robust predictions. What is clear is that some sectors that are highly reliant on EU migrants – notably, food manufacturing, construction, and logistics – could face serious difficulties adjusting to the new restrictions on free movement. There are concerns that these restrictions could inhibit recruitment in critical sectors of the economy, and also exacerbate the risks of informal working and exploitation by unscrupulous employers."
The IPPR adds, however, that the Government's plans also present opportunities for reforming the immigration system for the better.
The report notes: "For the last decade, the government's immigration policy could be boiled down to a simple pledge: bringing overall net migration down to the tens of thousands. This crude objective was never fulfilled and ultimately ended up undermining many of the government's other ambitions – from increasing education exports by expanding international student numbers to resolving NHS staff shortages. The new points-based system represents an opportunity to rethink the UK's immigration policy and to develop a strategy that meets the economic challenges currently facing the country. As the government makes efforts to rebuild the economy in the wake of the current crisis, the immigration system can be designed to help create high quality, well paid jobs and enhance working conditions for UK and migrant workers alike."
The IPPR makes a number of recommendations to the Home Office in the report to both address the risks of ending freedom of movement and maximise the opportunities of introducing a new points-based system.
"Our proposals aim to help spur the economic recovery by supporting key sectors to grow, while protecting against a race to the bottom on workers' rights", the IPPR said.