11 October 2018


The government's immigration proposals signal a wrong turn

The CBI responds to plans for new post-Brexit immigration system.

The government's immigration proposals signal a wrong turn

Last week at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, the Prime Minister revealed that the post-Brexit immigration will prioritise ‘high-skilled’ migrants over their ‘low-skilled’ counterparts. Responding to these proposals, the CBI cautioned that by dismissing the importance of low-skilled workers to the UK economy, the government risks worsening labour shortages in sectors like construction, hospitality and care.

Read the CBI’s full response to the Prime Minister’s immigration proposals

The CBI has been clear that all skill levels matter to the UK economy. As the CBI’s recent Open and controlled report on migration showed, from construction and care, to hospitality and the food supply chain, restricting access to the workers the UK needs will only risk worsening labour shortages in many vital sectors of the UK economy. This was further confirmed by the Migration Advisory Committee.

To secure the best trade deals around the world, the government must be willing to put migration rules on the table, starting with the EU. Ahead of the publication of the government’s immigration White Paper expected later this year, the CBI will continue to urge for an adequate route for low and mid-skilled workers and make the case that the current global immigration system cannot be the starting template.

For more information, insight and intelligence on the latest Brexit developments and its implications, visit the CBI’s Brexit hub, or contact EUNegotiations@cbi.org.uk.