21 May 2015

  |  CBI Press Team


Response to immigration bill announcement

The CBI has responded to the Government’s announcement on new immigration measures.

Response to immigration bill announcement


Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:

On measures to tackle illegal working:

“Business supports tough, targeted action against criminals who exploit workers.

“There is an enormous difference between this type of serious crime and typical employment law disputes, which have well established routes to resolution. That distinction must be maintained.

“The new agency should focus on illegal working and not blur the lines between employment law enforcement and a crack-down on criminal activity.”

On free movement of labour:

“Free movement of workers across the EU is good for employers, employees and the UK economy, but it must be about freedom to work, not claim benefits.

On skilled migration:

“The net migration target should be scrapped. While increasing the UK’s skills base is vital for improving productivity and growth, introducing a levy on working visas is the wrong approach, as the cost of visas is already high and this measure risks sending out a message that Britain isn’t open for business. In the short term failing to increase the skilled migration cap will make it more difficult for businesses to access to skills they need to succeed.”

On asking the Migration Advisory Committee to advise on significantly reducing non-EU economic migration:

“Britain has to be able to trade globally, and attracting highly skilled people to the UK is key to this. Research shows this has a positive impact on the UK’s economy - both letting foreign firms invest and companies to have international head offices here. Immigration has also helped to plug the UK’s skills shortage, which firms have identified as the number one threat to their businesses.”