Friday

26th Apr 2019

UK requests EU migration study, 13 months after Brexit vote

  • UK government asks committee to assess the role of migrant workers from EU (Photo: Chris Goldberg/Flickr)

The UK's home affairs minister has asked the country's migration advisory committee for a “detailed assessment” of the role migration of EU citizens plays in the UK economy, she announced in an op-ed on Thursday (27 July).

“We will be asking the committee to examine the British labour market, the overall role of migration in the wider economy and how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy,” home secretary Amber Rudd wrote in the Financial Times.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Home secretary Amber Rudd said the committee 'will look at the overall picture, moving beyond individual bits of anecdotal evidence' (Photo: Council of the European Union)

She said the committee “will look at the overall picture, moving beyond individual bits of anecdotal evidence and allowing us to make policy on high-quality evidence”.

The move comes more than thirteen months after the referendum on the UK's EU membership, in which 51.9 percent voted to leave.

The British media reported that the final outcome of the report is not expected until September 2018, seven months before the end of the two-year negotiating period with the EU.

Rudd said the committee “will be beginning its work shortly”.

She also said that the UK government will “set out some initial thinking on options for the future immigration system” this autumn, but that the committee's report and “the views of a range of stakeholders” will be taken into account before making any final decisions.

Rudd added that she wanted to “reassure businesses and EU nationals that we will ensure there is no 'cliff edge' once we leave the bloc”.

Timing

Politicians from the opposition criticised the timing.

“It beggars belief that the government have taken a year to get round to asking for expert evidence on the role played by EU nationals in our country,” said Labour MP Heidi Alexander, according to the Guardian.

“The timing of this announcement shows the total lack of preparation and understanding that has typified this government’s attitude to Brexit so far,” the MP added.

Another opposition MP, Ed Davey, from the Liberal Democrat party, said: “The government needs to explain why this study wasn’t commissioned a year ago, directly after the referendum.”

Food supply

The government has received criticism over its apparent lack of preparation from other corners, too.

Earlier this month, three professors from the universities of London, Essex, and Cardiff, wrote a critical report about the government's food policy.

Tim Lang, Erik Millstone, and Terry Marsden wrote that “the prospect of loss of access to EU migrant labour is one of the UK food industry’s greatest concerns”.

The UK food sector is heavily dependent on migrant workers from the EU and the “prospect of ending EU free flow of labour strikes horror into many a farm and food enterprise”, the authors of the report said.

“The government has long been made aware of this, but has failed to indicate if it will address the problem, let alone how,” they said.

The authors concluded that, consequently, the UK's food security is at risk.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

Brexit talks restart in sense of urgency

The first full round of Brexit talks on key issues kicks off on Monday, while infighting heats up in the UK government over its strategy.

UK leaves fishing convention amid Brexit talks

The UK announced it would leave the London fisheries convention, which allows mutual fishing close to the coast, arguing that it is taking back control of its waters. But Brussels warns: Brexit talks will decide that.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound

The Labour leader has put his Brexit cards on the table again but it stands to divide the party, which still has a strong pro-EU following.

UK and EU stuck on 'philosophy' of Brexit bill

The lack of a UK position on a financial settlement is becoming a crucial obstacle in Brexit talks, amid "philosophical" differences on what the money should pay for.

News in Brief

  1. EU: Russian citizenship plan 'attacks' Ukraine sovereignty
  2. Deutsche Bank hands over Trump loan documents
  3. UN: Europe is badly prepared for new refugee crisis
  4. Macron to set out 'Yellow vest' counter measures
  5. Italy requests EU action plan for new Libya migrant wave
  6. Far-right party leaders meet in Prague
  7. Priest shames politicians at reporter's funeral in Belfast
  8. Putin offers Russian citizenship to Ukraine regions

Feature

'Swexit' off menu at election for first time in 24 years

The Swedish Left Party have abandoned euroscepticism to campaign on climate change - whilst the hard-right Sweden Democrats spy possibilities of a link up with Matteo Salvini of Italy and France's Marine Le Pen.

Opinion

Brexit vs Grexit: The six stages of losing to the EU

Theresa May's venture seems very similar to the attempt by Alexis Tsipras in 2015 to persuade Brussels to accept his terms for the bail out - a huge negotiation failure, presented to the public as the best possible deal.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'
  2. Far-right Facebook networks removed before Spain election
  3. EU and Japan in delicate trade talks
  4. Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all
  5. Details of EU Brexit talks with Blair and Soros kept secret
  6. Weber vows to block Nord Stream 2 amid 'sue' threat
  7. 'Next Juncker' must fix EU's corporate power problem
  8. EU want Facebook pan-EU advert fix for May elections

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us