Commenting on today’s report by the Migration Advisory Committee, Tim Thomas, Director of Employment & Skills Policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“Today’s contribution from the MAC to the EU migration maze needs to be seen in the context of the UK leaving the EU, but seeking a deep and special economic partnership as a successor to membership. As the MAC recognises, a future UK/EU agreement may contain the new arrangements which will replace free-movement, and the UK should expect the EU to adopt a reciprocal system to any national rules the UK chooses to implement.
“Any changes to current immigration rules will need to allow businesses and people significant time to adjust, and simply sketching out a one-size-fits-all approach for workers from anywhere in world risks overlooking the importance of the EU in terms of trade and a vital source of skills for the UK.
“Government then needs to continue to engage with UK employers before taking decisions which need to balance the needs of UK businesses and the common desire for a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU, which itself will need to offer EU workers flexible access to the UK to live and work.”