The Migration Advisory Committee (“MAC”) is helping to recommend on the UK’s migration policy post-Brexit.


The committee has been assigned with assisting to outline a modern immigration system that will commence when the transition stage of the UK formally exiting the EU winds up in 2021. As part of their suggested regime, MAC has recommended a ban on all international employees that earn “less than £30,000 a year from attaining visas” as they “do not establish the requisite for a work-related (visa) scheme for lower-skilled workers” as mentioned by the committee’s chairman Alan Manning.


Road haulage, house building and hospitality associations are intensely anxious due to their dependence on lower-skilled workers, after MAC said only highly-skilled workers would be allowed visas. MAC also specified there would be no inclination towards European Union citizens.


One owner within the hospitality industry, Des Gunewardena, the possessor of D&D London, which manages 40 restaurants, said his business would encounter challenges to employ workers. Mr Gunewardena stated that he had “no distrust that if movement of workforce becomes problematic, we will must scale back abruptly”, emphasizing on the effect this proposition is expected to have on the variety of businesses that rest upon low-skilled foreign labors.


MAC’s final report in September 2018 explained the intended scheme by declaring “there would be enough low-skilled workers in the UK because most of the existing stock of these workers will remain and there would likely be a continued flow of workers through subsequent family migration”.


Regardless of this, the Labour shadow-government has suggested that immigration policy should not be based on differentiating between high and low-skilled workers but instead to develop “upcoming migration strategy on the requirements of each business sector”.


The influence of post-Brexit immigration policy on businesses that depend on low-skilled workers will depend on whether this scheme continues just that or whether it is really rolled out. If the latter, Stephen Clarke, a senior economic expert at the Resolution Foundation has recommended that “these propositions would actually end low-skilled migration, while highlighting mid and high-skill migration in areas where we have workforce unavailability”.

Whether this prioritisation would be of advantage to the UK is not simple to forecast at this time.


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