The UK’s approach to immigration should go beyond reducing numbers. It should be a robust, secure and fair system that allows the country to be selective, so that migrants coming to the UK have skills that complement those of British workers and integrate successfully into the labour market and their local community.
The government’s current pursuit of a single net migration target is not working. It is a blunt policy that groups together all forms of migration, hindering a more strategic approach, and driving policies to ensure migrants leave the UK, a strategy which undermines integration.
The Brexit vote has generated huge insecurity for EU citizens as well as damaging Britain’s global reputation and impacting employers, like the NHS, which depend on migrant workers.
To address concerns, Britain’s approach to immigration following Brexit must be reformed. This includes protecting the rights of EU citizens who had settled in Britain before the date of the referendum and taking action to ensure Britain can still compete internationally by attracting people with globally competitive skills.
A strong and successful Britain is built on a good society with engaged communities. IPPR has always looked at ways of strengthening and improving social policy to help achieve this.