Scrap migration targets after Brexit to help economy, says CBI

Scrap migration targets after Brexit to help economy, says CBI

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called on the Government to scrap net migration targets after Brexit because of the “significant” benefit that immigrants bring to the UK economy.

The report, titled ‘Open and Controlled,’ argues that targets should be replaced with a system that ensures people coming to the UK make a “positive contribution” to the economy.

The study suggests that EU workers currently make up between 4% and 30% of the total workforce in different sectors, and that immigration delivers a “significant economic benefit” to the UK.

“Firms want to see reform to the UK’s immigration system, ensuring it remains sufficiently open to support our economy but with enough control to build public trust and confidence,” the researchers said. “The stakes are high. Get it wrong, and the UK risks having too few people to run the health service, pick food crops or deliver products to stores around the country.

"We also risk harming our future as a global innovation hub, rooted in our longstanding ability to attract talented people the world over.”

Already some industries are struggling to attract candidates as a result of Brexit.  British farms, for example, rely on seasonal labour from EU member states, such as Romania and Bulgaria.

“The demand that we have is that we should be recruiting in excess of 4,000 people this year,” Douglas Amesz, who runs AG Recruitment and Management, which focuses on hiring candidates from EU states for Britain's agricultural sector, told the Guardian. “It’s unlikely we will hit that target, so farms will be very stretched.”

However, the BBC reports that the Home Office is committed to bringing net migration down to "tens of thousands", adding that there is "no consent in Britain for uncontrolled immigration."

Recent annual net migration figures to the UK are at about 240,000.

"After we leave the EU, we will end free movement and put in place a system which works in the best interests of the whole of the UK," the Home Office told the BBC.

"We are considering a range of options that will ensure that we are in control of our borders and managing migration, while continuing to attract and retain people who come here to work and bring significant benefits."

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