for the year to June 2016 was 335,000. The Government has stated that its ambition is to significantly reduce the level of net migration to the UK. The vote to leave the EU presents the UK with an opportunity to restructure immigration policy.
The Prime Minister has expressed concern about the impact of uncontrolled migration on people on low incomes and stated that the UK should ensure that it can control immigration from Europe. Some sectors view this opportunity anxiously and have stated that continued access to migrant labour is crucial for the success of their businesses and the UK economy. The Committee will examine these competing claims.
The central question for the Committee is what is the expected impact of Brexit on the UK labour market? The Committee’s inquiry will take as its starting point the assumption that net migration will be reduced. The inquiry will consider EU and non-EU migrants. As well as the central question above, the Committee would welcome written evidence on any or all of the following issues:
1. What level of net migration is necessary for the UK labour market to function effectively?
a. How reliant is the UK labour market on high, medium or low skilled migrant labour? What would be the impact of a reduced ability to source foreign workers on British businesses?
b. Which particular sectors or sub-sectors would be affected by controls on EU migration and further controls on non-EU migration?
2. What would be the impact on wages, in different sectors, of controls on EU migration and further controls on non-EU migration? What evidence is there of the impact on wages of the level of immigration (from EU and non-EU countries) to date?
3. Does the Government have adequate data on the number and characteristics of immigrant workers on which future assumptions and policy can be based?
a. If there are deficiencies in the data what changes are required to improve it? b. How should the labour market impact of particular restrictions on migration be measured?
4. Is there a case for regional variation in immigration policy?
5. How successful have policies to control the level of migration from non-EU countries been? Are any changes required if these controls are extended to migrants from EU countries?
6. What lessons can the UK draw from the experience of other countries?
The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit evidence to this inquiry. Written evidence does not need to address every question. The questions are not listed in any particular order of importance. Witnesses are asked to note that the focus of this inquiry is not the rights of EU citizens currently resident in the UK.
The deadline for written evidence is 20 February 2017. The written submissions will guide the Committee’s deliberations in oral evidence sessions and inform the Committee’s final conclusions and recommendations.
Public hearings will be held in February and March 2017. The Committee aims to report to the House, with recommendations, in early May 2017. The report will receive a response from the Government, and may be debated in the House.
The remit of the Economic Affairs Committee is to consider economic affairs. Information including membership and recent inquiries can be found on this link: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/economic-affairs-committee/