UK should not give preference to EU workers after Brexit, migration report finds

Anna Mikhailova
Workers from the European Union should not have free movement into the UK after Brexit - PA

Workers from the European Union should not have free movement into the UK after Brexit, an official report has said.

The Migration Advisory Committee was commissioned by the then Home Secretary Amber Rudd to assess the impact EU migrants had on the UK economy.

Publishing its findings today, it has concluded that the UK should give "no preference" to EU citizens.

At the same time, the Government should make  it easier for highly-skilled workers from anywhere in the world to come to the UK.

It recommends abolishing the cap on the number of migrants granted Tier 2 (General) visas, which apply to skilled workers.

It also calls for extending this scheme to medium-skilled workers, to protect the UK against "harmful skills shortages" that might occur post Brexit.

"There should be a less restrictive regime for higher-skilled workers than for lower-skilled workers in a system where there is no preference for EEA over non-EEA workers," the report says. 

"Higher-skilled workers tend to have higher earnings so make a more positive contribution to the public finances. The estimated labour market impacts, though small, also suggest that higher-skilled workers are of greater benefit as do any impacts on productivity and innovation."

Professor Jonathan Portes, senior fellow at The UK in a Changing Europe, said: "Much of the scaremongering we’ve heard over the past few years has little or no basis in fact.

“The Government’s economically illiterate net migration target should finally be put out of its misery. After Brexit, we will need immigration – for growth, productivity, and not least to help the public finances – more than ever. "