Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) Publishes Report on Impact of EU Migration in the United Kingdom

November 2, 2018

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s report recommends that post Brexit, the UK government focus on facilitating highly-skilled migration and influencing the flow of EU migrants through salary thresholds and skills charges rather than through hard caps and quotas.

Key recommendations under the report:
• No preferential treatment for EU migrants post-Brexit in comparison to non-EU nationals;
• Removing the Tier 2 (General) cap, currently set at 20,700 per annum;
• Lowering the Tier 2 (General) visa to medium-skilled jobs;
• Maintaining the Tier 2 minimum salary thresholds;
• Expanding the shortage occupations list to meet current needs to include Geophysicists, Mining engineers, 3D computer animators, Games designers, Cyber security experts, Emergency medicine consultants, Paediatric consultants;
• Ensuring the Immigration Skills Charge also applies to EU citizens in the future
• Eliminating the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) or changes to the salary threshold exemptions
• Relaxing the rules for migrant workers seeking to change employers within the UK;
• No provision for low-skilled workers or sector-based schemes except Seasonal Agricultural Workers
• Expanding the Tier 5 Youth Mobility scheme

With regard to low-skilled workers, MAC says it is “not convinced there needs to be a work route for low-skilled workers” from the EU to fill jobs in industries such as catering or hospitality. The “possible exception” to this rule could be for seasonal agriculture. MAC says it does not see any “compelling reasons to offer a different set of rules” for workers from the EEA than those from other countries – unless such a position has been arrived at as part of the Brexit negotiations.

Leaving the EU will create significant economic shifts which may affect trade, services and the UK’s labour market and which will require significantly greater flexibility in our immigration system.

This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Immigration is a complex area of law for both corporates and individuals. Please contact our Immigration Law / Employment Team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.

Conor McCrory, Associate, Immigration Law Team, Cleaver Fulton Rankin, Solicitors.