Saturday

13th Aug 2022

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

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

UK sticks to ending free movement in 2019

While her finance minister is pushing for a soft Brexit with a simple transitional deal in place, the British PM insists on hard Brexit with free movement of people ending in March 2019.

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.

Opinion

Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy

The Belgian parliament's recent decision to ratify its prisoner-exchange treaty with Iran is a grave mistake, and one which exemplifies the many downfalls of dealing with Iran's human-rights abuses on a case-by-case basis.

News in Brief

  1. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike
  2. Germany wants pipeline from Portugal
  3. Ukraine urges US to sanction all Russian banks
  4. Spain evacuates 294 Afghans
  5. EU sanctions have 'limited' effect of Russian oil production
  6. Donors pledge €1.5bn to Ukraine's war effort
  7. Sweden overtakes France as EU's top power exporter
  8. Italy's far-right star in European charm offensive

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  2. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  3. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  4. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  5. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties
  6. Russian coal embargo kicks in, as EU energy bills surge
  7. Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy
  8. Kosovo PM warns of renewed conflict with Serbia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us