Title Original Language:
Policy options for future migration from the European Economic Area: Interim report
Abstract Original Language:
With eight months to go until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, the Government is yet to set out any substantive proposals on long-term migration between the UK and the EU. White papers and pieces of legislation, promised on multiple occasions by successive Home Secretaries, have been delayed. While we welcome the Government’s eﬀorts to secure the status of EU citizens currently living in the UK, we join the European Parliament in urging other EU countries to provide clarity and support for British citizens living in the European Union. There has been no attempt by the Government to build consensus on future migration policy despite the fact that the issue was subject to heated, divisive and at times misleading
debate during the referendum campaign in 2016. This, we believe, is regrettable. Na opportunity to help business and employers plan, and a crucial moment to rebuild confdence in the migration system, has so far been missed. After the referendum debates, we called upon the Government to instigate debates and policy processes to challenge misinformation, and to build trust, support and credibility. Our report, Immigration policy: basis for building consensus, noted that following the referendum the UK had the opportunity to reset the immigration debate. Migration is an important part of the UK’s economic, social and cultural history—and will go on being so, including in future migration between the UK and the European Union. It is
a serious disappointment that the Government has made no attempt so far to attempt to build consensus, nor to consult with the public about the decisions that must be made and the trade-oﬀs our country faces as it negotiates a new relationship with the European Union. We warn in this report that immigration policy decisions now risk being caught up in a rushed and highly politicised debate. Overall, we heard considerable evidence that refusing to discuss reciprocal immigration arrangements in the future partnership would make it much harder to get a close economic partnership with the EU. The need for a good economic deal, the fact that the EU is our closest neighbour and trading partner, and the shared economic, social and
cultural bonds that exist between the UK and the EU mean that mobility of people will remain important. The proximity geographically, economically and socially between the UK and the EU, and the need for a good overall deal, supports a distinct arrangement for EU migration in the future, linked to our economic relationship—with specifc policies and models to be debated in the months ahead.