LONDON — A House of Lords committee warned the UK government that its immigration policy risks producing the “worst of all worlds.”
Prime Minister Theresa May “may be tempted” to tailor immigration rules to different industries to avoid personnel shortages in important areas such as healthcare and agriculture, the Lords’ European Union committee said in a report.
But the Lords said this would do little to reduce immigration while at the same time shifting administrative red tape on to businesses.
“This approach could produce the worst of all worlds, failing to deliver a meaningful reduction in immigration while also proving more onerous and costly for employers, prospective applicants, and those charged with enforcement,” the Lords said in a report on Brexit and immigration policy.
The report also said that it was not clear why high-skilled migrants “should be treated preferentially relative to migration for low-skilled work — not least as the increase in the number of graduates in the UK has not been matched by an increase in high-skilled jobs.”
The ruling Conservative party has taken the vote to leave the European Union as a warning from the electorate to reduce immigration from EU countries.
Immigration into the UK fell to its lowest level in two years in the year ending in September 2016, according to the latest migration figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
Net migration in the UK was +273,000, with immigration into the country estimated at 596,000 people, and emigration at 323,000.
The immigration figures included 268,000 EU citizens, 257,000 non-EU citizens and 71,000 British citizens.
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