Our Ideas Updates

Updated Dec 2014

Immigration

Immigration brings many benefits – economic, social and cultural – but also creates pressures in some communities.

We propose

a fair deal on migration, to ensure the benefits of migration are more widely and fairly shared and that no one is left at a disadvantage by the impacts of migration

READ MORE: A fair deal on migration for the UK

We believe that if the fair deal on migration was implemented, including requirements on migrants to work hard, pay into the system and uphold British values, public consent for a more sustainable approach to migration could be achieved.

Migration policy needs to command public consent, to be based on firm evidence but also to be grounded in a framework of principles.

READ MORE: Fair and democratic migration policy: A principled framework for the UK

We support freedom of movement in Europe, but also reform of how it operates to ensure people are coming to the UK to work.

READ MORE: Europe, free movement and the UK: Charting a new course

The UK is likely to experience a ‘steady state’ of high migration for the foreseeable future. This means we need to put more emphasis on helping communities to adapt to increasingly diverse populations and on providing the services that are needed.

READ MORE: Settling the migration debate

We believe

integration should be guided by the idea of building 'shared ground' between migrants and settled residents so that they can live well together

This means managing the effects of ‘churn’, building inclusivity into institutions and services, and instilling responsibility among all citizens.

READ MORE: Shared ground: Strategies for living well together in an era of high immigration

To help communities to adapt, we propose that the Migrant Impacts Fund should be re-established, paid for out of visa fees, to be channelled towards high-immigration areas

Endorsed by the prime minister, Nov 2014

We also propose that a new Settlement Support Fund should be created, financed out of citizenship fees.

We propose that different categories of migrant inflow should be managed differently, to reflect the interests and responsibilities of Britain in the world. This approach should replace the government's crude net migration target which bears down on all migration flows.

Endorsed by business secretary Vince Cable, Jan 2014

Endorsed by the shadow home secretary, Sep 2014

In particular, immigration in the form of international fee-paying students attending British universities is a vital source of export income and we should be seeking to maximise numbers.

Endorsed by shadow business secretary, Aug 2014

READ MORE: Britain wants you! Why the UK should commit to increasing international student numbers

One aspect of immigration which undermines the integrity of our system is irregular migration.

We believe

a blanket amnesty on irregular migration is not an appropriate response, as it sends the wrong message

Irregularity should be resolved on a case-by-case basis, sometimes by allowing people to stay in the UK but in other cases by making more use of return.

It is vital that government and civil society groups foster cooperation around regularisation and return, so that cases of irregular migration can be dealt with fairly and promptly.

READ MORE: No Easy Options: Irregular immigration in the UK

We believe

Britain should expand its current commitment to the UNHCR's refugee resettlement programme

This means accepting more refugees, who can spend years living in camps, and improving the speed and flexibility of Britain's response to major emergencies, such as the Syrian crisis.

READ MORE: Britain should take our share of Syrian refugees

Human trafficking is a real and significant problem in the UK. By definition, most victims are in very vulnerable circumstances and so can find it very difficult to come forward.

Tough ongoing investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of trafficking is vital.

We also propose that

additional support should be provided for the victims of human trafficking and illegal employment or imprisonment

READ MORE: The UK's response to human trafficking: Fit for purpose?

An often overlooked aspect of migration is emigration – people leaving the UK. Millions of Brits live abroad and they represent a huge potential asset.

We believe

the UK government should be do more to engage with the British diaspora

READ MORE: Global Brit: Making the most of the British diaspora

Back to top