On the 18th of September 2018, the Migration Advisory Committee released a report (MAC report) outlining the impact of EEA migration in the UK. The report comprised of six areas where this impact was assessed, namely:

  1. Labour Market Impacts;
  2. Productivity, Innovation, Investment and Training Impacts;
  3. Consumer and House Price Impacts;
  4. Public Finance Impacts;
  5. Public Service Impacts;
  6. Community Impacts.

The document concluded by suggesting a few policy recommendations for work migration in a post-Brexit UK.

The Migration Advisory Committee is “an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Home Office” and “an independent, non-statutory, non-time limited, non-departmental public body that advises the government on migration issues”[1] according to their own website.

It was commissioned in July 2017 by the Home Secretary to produce a report on the current and likely future patterns of EEA migration and the impacts of that migration. You can find more on the administrative details of the MAC report here.

The report presupposes a few conditions which also seem to be in alignment with how the British government thinks about tackling the migration issues post-Brexit. There seems to be a consensus amongst government and policy-makers alike that EU and non-EU citizens should get equal treatment, but that the migration policies in themselves should be amended and revised. The report corroborates this statement by backing it up through an economic perspective, stating that all migrants (independent of nationality) should be held to strictly objective standards, such as education levels and skill competency. This translates to an invitation towards high-skilled migrants while cutting back on lower-skilled migration. Specifically the report states: “As we have found throughout the preceding chapters, a general theme emerges from the evidence that the impact of high-skilled migration is more beneficial than lower-skilled. This is clearest in the impact on the public finances and innovation”[2]. You can find a summary of the impacts of EEA workers as portrayed by the MAC report in the final two parts of this tripartite article series.

The report concludes by offering a few policy recommendations, some of which will likely have a great impact both for UK employers and UK workers, which is what has been the case and focus of most news outlets this past week.

There has been no indication, however, as to how this might affect EU citizens, which is what we will try and analyse very briefly and concisely for the rest of this article. In order to make some sense of this, we will split the findings into two categories – lower-skilled and higher-skilled migrants, and examine them separately in two further articles.[3]

Featured Image Credits: Nicolas Mavreaas

References

[1] “What the Migration Advisory Committee does” https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/migration-advisory-committee

[2] MAC Report, Paragraph 7.8, p.110

[3] “Skill” is considered tantamount to qualifications and can be assessed by the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2015/10/01/explaining-the-rqf/

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