Businesses representing all areas of UK economy offer government help designing new immigration system

24th January 2020

Open letter to Home Secretary published days ahead of Migration Advisory Committee report

The UK’s five largest business organisations (BCC, CBI, FSB, IOD & MakeUK) – and around 30 trade associations, from hoteliers to universities, employing millions of people – have signed a letter to Rt Hon Priti Patel offering their help in designing a new immigration system.

The signatories welcome recent indications from government about reducing the £30K salary test and scrapping the net migration target, which ‘have sent positive and important signals around the world that the UK is open for business.’

The letter continues: “Business understands that the immigration system must change in order to re-build public confidence. Insight from enterprise can help build a points-based model that provides greater control, whilst providing access to the labour and skills needed to support the economy. And this can go hand in hand with a continued determination to invest in training home grown talent.

It sets out four key priorities that will help to ensure the new system works on day one for all UK regions and nations:

  • A minimum salary threshold can work if it is set at a level that supports the economy and protects wages
  • Flexibility for skilled workers to enter the UK through a points-based system
  • A temporary visa route which supports all sectors of the economy
  • A radically reformed sponsorship process in place for the first day of operation

The letter concludes: “The economy needs a simple, streamlined and affordable system that meets business’ needs of all sizes, sectors and across all UK regions and nations.

“We look forward to working with the new government to inform the detailed design of a new immigration system in a way that commands public confidence and supports the UK’s global ambitions.”

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