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Post BREXIT: New immigration policy should secure public consent

26 August 2016 #Immigration #Inward Investment

A report by independent think tank British Future has suggested that although Brexit presents challenges for decision makers, it also offers an opportunity to get immigration policy right so the public’s trust in the system can be restored. The “immediate priority” should be securing the future of the 3.5m EU nationals living in the UK – an opinion shared by 84% of the public who believe that EU citizens already living in the UK should be allowed to stay.

The report by British Future came ahead of the publication of net migration statistics yesterday, which found that net migration to the UK was 327,000 for the year to March. Although this figure is down 9,000 on the previous year, it is significantly higher than the government’s target of reducing the level of net migration to “tens of thousands”.

A separate survey conducted by British Future revealed that only 37% of the British public think that the government will meet the net migration target in the next 5 years, even after leaving the EU, compared to 44% who considered it unlikely.

However, there is much political and public support for highly skilled migration with three-quarter of those polled agreeing with the call for a “sensible policy to manage immigration that controls who comes to the UK, but still keeps the immigration that is good for our economy and society, and maintains Britain’s tradition of offering sanctuary to refugees who need protection”.

In their report, British Future recommended that the government:

  • Secure the rights of EU nationals currently living in the UK as soon as possible;
  • Invest properly in the immigration system so that it can deliver;
  • Undertake a comprehensive immigration review once there is clarity on the BREXIT settlement, looking at all aspects of immigration and integration;
  • Involve the public in the comprehensive immigration review through a national conversation on immigration; and
  • Place a moratorium on major changes to immigration policy once action has been taken to guarantee the status of EU nationals living in the UK, until the comprehensive immigration review is completed.

To conclude, it’s important to know that Britain’s decision to leave the EU will have a significant impact on our approach to immigration and it gives the government the opportunity to listen to the public’s concerns and take aboard their opinions to ensure that the new immigration system works thus restoring the public’s faith in them.

For further information on how our specialist immigration lawyers can support you or a family member with obtaining a visa, or advice on how we can support your organisation with sponsorship licences and right to work checks, please contact our team

Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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