Who are we?
We are a cross-party group of politicians, business leaders and trade unionists encouraging an evidence based discussion about migration. Human migration can be both voluntary and involuntary and prompted by many reasons including employment and learning or a need to seek refuge. Migration has always existed and over time migration trends and patterns have been shaped by social, political, and geographical changes.
What do we do?
Approaches to migration governance need to be dispassionate and based on the evidence, particularly following the recent EU referendum. We support the development of these approaches by:
- creating forums in which key players can examine issues relating to migration in depth;
- equipping politicians, their advisers, businesses and trade unions with evidence on migration; and
- engaging with the media to present the facts about migration.
Why do we do this?
As global economic development leads to the increased movement of people we must ensure that the benefits and challenges of migration are better understood.
Our aim is to encourage an open dialogue about migration that is firmly rooted in the evidence.
The evidence on migration
The overwhelming weight of academic and independent analysis is clear: properly managed migration is beneficial to Britain. The result of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union has not affected this.
Reports from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, PwC, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the Office for Budget Responsibility, the IMF and the OECD, within the last year[IM1] are unequivocal.
In each report, the same three themes are evident:
Britain’s public and private sectors need migrants’ skills. In the NHS, almost 40% of our doctors are migrants. Without them, and without migrant nurses and support staff, our health service would collapse.
In industry, according to business organisations like the CBI and IoD, we have major skills shortages in areas like engineering and IT. Without immigration, our firms would not be able operate successfully or compete globally.
Migrants’ contribution is essential for growth and to reduce the debt which would otherwise fall exclusively on British tax-payers.
For example, the largest single group of migrants each year is international students. They make-up almost 40% of new migrants and according to the government, contribute £18 billion in fees. The contribution from international students funds tens of thousands of jobs across the country, boosting tax revenues and reducing our debt.
Investment in the UK by foreign businesses is worth billions to the UK economy and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs.
From Japan alone, 1,300 firms are directly responsible for 130,000 British jobs, many thousands more indirectly. Hostility to immigration sends a message that Britain is closed for business and will endanger this investment.