The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on: “the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the European Union and also on how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy”.

In response, the MAC has published its Call for Evidence in order to examine current patterns of EU/EEA migration into the UK, employers’ reliance on certain types of EEA migration and the costs and benefits to the UK of such reliance.  Based on the evidence it receives, the MAC will then make recommendations to the government for its post-Brexit transition immigration policy.

During meetings organised by our Business Immigration team with representatives of the MAC, clients and contacts in our London and Birmingham offices this week, the following points were raised by concerned organisations:

  • Much is already being done by organisations to invest in and ‘upskill’ the resident workforce and some are struggling to fill vacancies even before EEA migration is restricted.
  • There is greater concern regarding future restrictions on ‘lower-skilled’ EEA workers given that higher-skilled EEA workers may well qualify for long term permission to work in the UK (albeit potentially with the employer burden of extra cost and administration).
  • There are few realistic options for replacing EEA workers from within the UK (especially in the short to medium term) and the viability of alternative recruitment strategies or contingency plans will vary from one sector to another.
  • It will be difficult to develop a meaningful modern industrial strategy with materially reduced access to the EEA workforce.

Our UK Business Immigration team will be responding to the MAC’s call for evidence on behalf of clients and contacts.  If your organisation is in any way concerned about post-Brexit immigration policy and has not yet responded to the MAC directly, now is the time to speak out.  If you would like to contribute to our response, please click here to complete a simplified version of those questions raised by the MAC which we feel are worth focusing on and return it to by 13 October 2017.

The following points are worth bearing in mind when collating your views and evidence:

  • The MAC needs hard facts about your EEA workers, their value to your business and the impact of losing them (or having reduced access to them) in order to make informed recommendations to the government.
  • Real life case studies will be welcomed but anecdotal evidence will be of limited value unless it is supported by clear data.
  • The MAC won’t be able to guarantee the anonymity of individual company responses if sent to it directly. If confidentiality is a concern therefore, contributing through our response will mean that we can remove any reference to your organisation or, if you prefer, mention you only by reference to size, sector and region.

If you need any assistance with your response to the MAC or any other immigration query (Brexit related or otherwise), please do not hesitate to contact Annabel Mace.