18 September 2018
Matthew Fell, CBI UK Policy Director, said:
“This report provides useful insights but is not a roadmap for a new system.
“The findings are clear about the immigration dividend. Productivity and innovation benefit from migration, and training for UK workers increases. It finds barely any negative effects on jobs or wages for UK citizens.
“The critical recommendation missing from the report is that migration should be part of trade negotiations, starting with the EU. The Migration Advisory Committee leaves this decision open to Government and says that it might be ‘something of value to offer in negotiations’. If it is the Government’s intention to implement a global system, preferential access for countries where the UK has trade deals will be essential to provide the basis for an open and controlled system that can work for the UK’s economy.
“The current non-EU visa system is highly bureaucratic and cannot be extended to EU workers without major reform, so the MAC is right to recommend scrapping the tier 2 cap. But these proposals don’t go far enough.
“Retaining the £30,000 salary threshold would block many essential workers from coming to the UK. Similarly, plans outlined for low-skilled workers are inadequate, and risks damaging labour shortages.
“The government should now build on this evidence to pursue an open and controlled system that shows the UK remains open to the world, and make Global Britain a reality.”