The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has today published its final report on “EEA migration in the UK.” In July 2017, Amber Rudd, the then Home Secretary, asked the MAC to report on the current and likely future patterns of EEA migration and the impacts of that migration on the UK’s economy and society. The MAC was also asked to consider how the immigration system aligned with a modern industrial strategy. The MAC’s intention is to provide an evidence base for the design of a new migration system after the end of the Brexit transition period, from January 2021.
The main points of the report are:
- If the UK decides on its new immigration system in isolation from the negotiations with the EU (though this hardly seems likely), the MAC sees no compelling reasons to offer a different set of rules for EEA compared to non-EEA workers
- The general principle behind migration policy changes should be to make it easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the UK than lower-skilled workers
The MAC also advises that the existing Tier 2 (General) scheme could “provide a useful template for a work permit scheme” for EEA citizens whilst warning that criticism of the administrative burdens of the scheme should be taken seriously. Further details on the remaining key recommendations (largely focused on changes to this scheme) are detailed in this publication.