IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? A House of Lords select committee is seeking submissions on the impact that reduced migration from Europe post-Brexit would have on the U.K. labor market.
What does the change mean? Written submissions must be completed by Monday. The inquiry is aimed at examining how limiting migration from Europe would affect business and the U.K. economy—would it boost job opportunities for resident workers or will it deprive companies of access to a migrant labor force that is crucial to their success?
Background: The Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords is conducting its inquiry as the U.K. prepares to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to formally begin the process of leaving the European Union in March. Committee recommendations are expected to be made in early May and are likely to inform government policy on any immigration system post-Brexit. (BAL understands that all ideas are currently “on the table.”)
Besides seeking information on the overarching question of what the impact of Brexit on the labor market will be, the committee is inviting public feedback on (1) what level of migration is required for the U.K. labor market to function effectively; (2) the impact on wages in different economic sectors of restricting migration from the EU and further restricting migration from outside of the EU; (3) whether the government has adequate data on the immigrant worker population to make sound policy decisions; (4) whether the U.K. should consider regional variations to its immigration policies; (5) whether policies to control the level of migration from non-EU countries have been successful; and (6) what the U.K. can learn about immigration policy from other countries.
The committee has said that the inquiry is not focused on the status of EU nationals already living in the U.K.
BAL Analysis: Respondents do not have to answer every question and are asked to keep submissions short. Therefore the inquiry provides a good opportunity for companies to provide feedback on how a reduction in migration/restriction in employment rights for European nationals would affect the ability to access necessary skills from the market or to operate effectively as a U.K. employer. As EU migration routes are used to fill higher skilled positions in tech, financial services, pharma and other sectors, as well as low-skilled roles that arguably garner more political attention, multinational employers should make clear the impact of any reduction in overall access to visas.
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