Leaked Home Office Report

Commenting on the leaked Home Office report, Barbara Roche, chair of the Migration Matters Trust, said,

 "If the government implemented what is in the leaked Home Office paper there would be two consequences.

First, a cliff edge hard Brexit in March 2019. Any thoughts of a managed transition period with single market participation would fly out of the window because the EU has made clear that continued free movement is a prerequisite for such a transition. The economic shock would be like an asteroid hitting the British economy.

Second, in  the chaos of falling off the Brexit cliff edge, cutting the number 'low skill' migrants would cause huge labour shortages which would further drive British businesses to the wall.

The combined impact would be catastrophic for British jobs and prosperity. 

Implementing the leaked report would be an act of abject economic illiteracy."

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Ditch “low-skilled” label for SME & public sector work post-Brexit, APPG report recommends

The APPG on Migration has recommended the government take a “new approach” to so-called ‘low-skilled work’ after a landmark report found that many roles with British SMEs and the public sector, particularly in the care sector, will be hard to fill after EU freedom of movement ends in the UK.

The report, Brexit: beyond the highly skilled – the needs of other economic stakeholders, examines the impact that ending freedom of movement between the UK and the EU will have on small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and the public sector in the UK.

It found that many jobs currently considered ’low-skilled’ are heavily reliant on EU workers and that the ‘low-skilled’ label will make them very difficult to fill after Britain leaves the EU. Classifying roles as ‘low-skilled’ makes it almost impossible for business and the public sector to recruit overseas workers under the existing points based system (PBS). Evidence taken by the inquiry finds that the label of ‘low-skilled’ also creates a negative image of the jobs among British workers, discouraging them from applying.

However, the report finds that many so-called ‘low skilled’ roles require a high-degree of technical knowledge and skill. Jobs considered by the government to be ‘low-skilled’ include dental technicians, health and safety officers and air traffic controllers.

The report recommends that the government reconsider this label and undertake a positive public relations exercise improving the image of jobs currently classified as ‘low-skilled’ among British workers. Alongside this, the report calls for a review of the barriers preventing British workers taking up these roles now. It also recommends the government pushes apprenticeships as a tool for upskilling the domestic workforce, across all ages.

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Migration Figures Reduced

Commenting on the latest quarterly net migration figures, Barbara Roche, chair of the Migration Matters Trust said,

 "The fall in net migration is worrying. At the moment there are the best part of 1m vacancies in the British economy and unemployment is at a 42 year low. Thousands of businesses that employ millions of Britons depend on migrants’ skills to stay open.

 If British businesses cannot meet their orders because of skills gaps they will cut back and job losses will follow. The bulk of these losses will be felt by British citizens who make up the overwhelming majority of the workforce. 

 The stark choice facing Britain is between sustained migration which protects British jobs or lower migration which will drive unemployment and job insecurity."

 

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Migration Commission launched

 Responding to the announcement of the Migration Advisory Committee inquiry into the benefits and costs of migration, Barbara Roche, chair of Migration Matters/Atul Hatwal, commented

 "The government's decision to commission the Migration Advisory Committee inquiry into the benefits and costs of migration is a welcome step - it re-introduces two long lost words into the migration debate: 'Evidence based.' For too many years, migration policy has been driven by anecdote and political reaction."

 

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Shocking figures released by Migration Matters Trust

Revealed: Cutting migration to below 100k could mean 3m+ unemployed with fewer BRITONS in work than at any time in the past twenty years

Shocking new figures from the Migration Matters Trust reveal that cutting net migration to less than 100,000 per year could hammer British jobs.

Unemployment would potentially rise from 1.6m today to 3.1m while the employment rate for British citizens – the percentage who want to work that have jobs – could see a slump from 75% to 70%, the lowest level in twenty years.

In this scenario, the numbers of unemployed chasing each vacancy would rise from 2 today, to 7.

The figures are based on an analysis of the last decade of government economic statistics, correlated against net migration levels.

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Migration statistics announced

This month’s reporting of net migration figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicate a significant drop in numbers.  Net long-term international migration was estimated to be +248,000 in 2016, down 84,000 from 2015 (statistically significant); immigration was estimated to be 588,000 and emigration 339,000.

This net migration change was driven by a statistically significant increase in emigration up 40,000 from 2015, mainly EU citizens (117,000, up 31,000 from 2015) and a decrease of 43,000 in immigration (not statistically significant).

EU8 citizens have partly driven the changes with a fall in immigration (down 25,000) to 48,000 and a rise in emigration (up 16,000) to 43,000 in 2016 (both statistically significant changes); this resulted in the smallest net migration estimate (+5,000) for the EU8 since joining the EU in 2004.

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Migration Matters response to Migration Statistics

Barbara Roche, chair of Migration Matters, commented on the new net migration figures saying,
"Today’s fall in migration should concern anyone who worries about Britain’s economic prospects.
Immigration is the canary in the coal mine for the British economy. It’s not politically correct to say this but migration is essential to Britain’s success.

According to the government’s latest figures, we currently have the best part of 1m vacancies in the British economy. If today’s fall in migration is sustained then it is inevitable that without migrants' skills to help plug these gaps, orders will go unfulfilled, businesses will suffer, the economy will falter and British jobs will be at risk.

Immigration will then fall even faster, as will British workers’ job security.

Britain’s post-Brexit choice is simple: lower immigration and a stalled economy or higher British employment with migration at comparable levels to recent years."

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Refugees and national security in the U.S.

32428135622_e4f12d607d_m.jpgAt the end of his first week in office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order which placed a 120-day moratorium on refugee resettlement to the U.S., cut the number of refugees admitted annually to 50,000 and indefinitely banned the acceptance of Syrian refugees. During a speech at the Pentagon, Trump claimed that these measures were put in place to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America”.

A 2016 study by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, sheds light on the number of terrorism incidents involving refugees in the U.S. Between 1975 and 2015, 20 refugees – of over 3 million admitted to the U.S. – were convicted of terrorism. There were three fatalities, all from attacks committed by Cubans in the 1970s. However, the Institute notes that all these attacks occurred before the rigorous refugee screening procedures used today were put in place by the 1980 Refugee Act. They found that an American’s annual chance of dying in a terrorist attack committed by refugees is one in 3.64 billion. The report’s author, Alex Nowrasteh, has recently argued that Trump’s executive order “will have…virtually no effect on improving U.S. national security”.

Photo: Dulles International Airport (VA) Muslim Ban Protest. Photograph: Geoff Livingston. CC-BY-NC-ND

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Eritrean children excluded from the Dubs Amendment

The low recognition rate for the granting of asylum to refugees from Eritrea – which suffers severe levels of repression – has long been a concern to refugee organisations, the Independent Advisory Group on Country of Origin Information and Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee.  A new Guardian report demonstrates the impact that recent updates to the Home Office's official guidance have had on children in the Calais settlement.

In a further development, SNP MP Stuart McDonald has written to the Home Secretary expressing concern at the effects of this country information for Eritrea, on which Home Office officials depend for their assessment. The new guidelines were discredited in court in October last year, but they have nonetheless effectively excluded some very vulnerable children from the scope of the transfer process. This was established after the Dubs Amendment was passed. Lord Dubs, a former child refugee, was able to secure an arrangement for unaccompanied children to be offered safe refuge in the UK.

The government determined the countries of origin from which children would be accepted under the Dubs Amendment. This decision was based on the success rate of applications for asylum. However, at the time applications were being made on incorrect information about the situation in Eritrea. McDonald argues that Eritrean children should be considered within the framework of the Dubs Amendment. He says that excluding them is “wrong in principle”.

It is believed that 10,000 children have already gone missing in Europe, and that there are 95,000 unaccompanied children still in need of help.

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Higher education and the dangers of a hard Brexit

Student_admissions.jpgThe Education Select Committee is looking at “the impact of exiting the European Union on higher education”, writes Gill Green of Migration Matters Trust. Individuals giving evidence to the Committee on 11 January 2017 highlighted the critical contribution of non-British staff, students and research partners to the success of British higher education. 

International students are the UK's third largest “export” - but polls show that Brexit has had a worldwide negative impact on students' likelihood to apply for UK study. EU applications are already down; student numbers may fall if their fees go up and their current free movement is replaced by cumbersome and expensive visas.

EU citizens make up 20% of the staff of the Russell Group - and a higher percentage of researchers and staff in the economically key areas of maths, science and engineering. These staff need reassurance about their positions - and the status of their families.

The UK is a world leader in many research areas; but almost half that research involves outside partners. At the moment five of our top ten partners are EU countries. One in four British research publications is joint with a European partner. So, if universities are to continue as world leaders, they need a replacement for EU research funding and a way to maintain research collaboration with European centres.

Catherine Barnard, professor of EU law at Cambridge University, warned that a “hard Brexit” would “cut off the flow of excellent people who are coming at the moment”. She quoted a 14 per cent drop in applications from the EU for undergraduate courses at Cambridge in 2017. Postgraduate applications had gone up, but there were already signs of future concern. Those who declined the offer of a postgraduate place mentioned perceived anti-immigrant sentiment post-Brexit; the falling value of bursaries with the falling pound; and the uncertainty of future cross- European research collaboration.

The full evidence sessions can be heard via the Parliament select committee website.

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