Home Affairs Committee on Immigration: Issues to Address in 2017
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor LinkedinDanielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
The Home Affairs Committee is set to look at the ways migrants might integrate into the UK in the current climate. At the moment EU nationals are in many respects treated the same way as British citizens once they are settled; their entitlements are relatively uncomplicated, although proof of entitlement needs to be obtained in the case of third country national family members, and those exercising rights of free movements. It is acknowledged that there are relatively few barriers to EU nationals’ full participation in the communities in which they live, but the level of bureaucracy needs to be addressed.
The Committee is going to look at what approach should be taken to EU migration as part of the Brexit negotiations e.g. a points-based system or work permits. The Committee should take evidence from the people aged 16 to 18, who did not have a say in the referendum, or those British nationals and their family members who reside elsewhere in the EU and who also had no vote, but have a lot to lose.
The Committee need to examine what the effect would be if EU migration in its current form were to end. They need to consider that there could be a huge reduction in circular migration (seasonal movement of migrant workers). It may mean the only way to guarantee circular migration would be to take British citizenship.
The change will also affect EU nationals settled in relationships with British nationals and those settled in the UK and their family members.
The Committee should consider employers who will have a smaller pool of persons from which to make their initial choice of workers. So called ‘low-skilled migration’ will end; outside the EU migration rules there are no immigration routes to enter the UK for the purpose of doing work which is below a certain qualification or salary level.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that a Tier 2 skilled migration cap of 21,000 per annum can be maintained post Brexit. The need for skilled and unskilled labour will not disappear post Brexit, and the Committee will consider the consequential economic effects by limiting the ability to fill the gaps.
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