On 27th July, 2017, Career Interactive was invited to a Migration Matters Seminar organised by the PwC Immigration Club. Topics discussed during the event included the current Brexit negotiations taking place in relation to EU nationals in the UK. Propositions for a more effective immigration strategy were also tackled.
Here are the key information we gathered from the seminar:
What we currently know
On the 27th of June, 2017, the government released a policy paper which sought to set out the status of EU Nationals in the UK, both during and after the UK exits from the EU. According to the paper, all EU Nationals will be expected to gain a new form of documentation to prove their status in the UK. All EU Nationals will need to apply for “settlement status” and will be eligible to settle in the UK as long as they have resided in the country on or before the 29th of March, 2017, which will be known as the settlement date. Settlement Status refers to the freedom to live and work in the UK and have access to public funds and services and be able to apply for British Citizenship.
There are 3 ways in which the changes will affect EU Nationals:
Those who have lived in the UK continuously for 5 years or more will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting “settled status”.
Those who have not lived in the UK for 5 years but arrived before the 29th of March, 2017 will be able to stay in the UK and apply for settled status after they’ve reached the 5-year mark.
Those who arrive after the 29th of March, 2017 will be able to apply for permission to remain after the UK leaves the EU, but they may be subject to new immigration regulations. If they are unsuccessful, they will be required to leave the UK once the grace period ends on the 29th of March, 2021.
What lies ahead
On the 27th of July, 2017, the Home Office has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to report on the impact on the UK labour market of the UK’s exit from the European Union and how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is an independent public body that provides transparent, independent and evidence-based advice to the government on migration issues.
The government has set a deadline of September 2018 to report back on the commission. The MAC will consider producing interim responses for the government to ensure the report can support policy development.
In the next few weeks the MAC will produce a call for evidence, which will be available on the MAC website. The MAC will engage with government, business, trade unions and other interested parties to ensure a high quality evidence based response to the commission.
Future Immigration Policies
The following recommendations to facilitate a more effective immigration policy were made during the seminar:
- The government’s net migration target to cut migration down by tens of thousands should be abandoned, as it is economically unsound and will yield to an increase of debts by £ 6 billion.
- The current permanent residency application system must be improved. Gathering of documents takes 7 to 10 weeks and the entire process is tedious and complicated.
- International students and academics should have unlimited access to UK universities, as universities benefit from migration economically and culturally.
- Training for Human Resources staff, managers and employers is suggested. Knowing the company’s EU population and their labour requirements will help achieve business goals in a more efficient manner.
- There should be a National Consensus around immigration to minimise uncertainty and put the sovereignty and supremacy of the parliament beyond doubt.
For the latest updates on Brexit and immigration, visit the Migration Advisory Committee website.