The Welsh Government has launched its latest Brexit paper, which proposes a fair approach to future migration to the UK. The paper sets out a position which links migration to the UK more closely to employment that will enable the UK to convince EU negotiators to agree to continued full access to the Single Market after Brexit and ensure that Welsh employers would continue to access the skills they need.
The managed approach to migration would enable people from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland to continue to come to the UK to work if they have a prior job offer, or to seek employment if they have a real prospect of finding a job quickly. This approach would allow Wales and the UK to continue to benefit from inward migration, while addressing the concerns that featured prominently in the debate leading up to the Brexit referendum last June. While making a forceful case for fair movement, the paper also addresses what might happen if the UK government decides to impose quantitative limits on migration from the EU.
In this case, which would not be the preferred option of the Welsh Government, we would be minded to press for a specific quota for Wales. First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“It is essential that, post-Brexit, the system for migration between the EU and UK is one which is right for Wales, and for all parts of the UK.
“We recognise many people have concerns about the extent and speed of migration and we want to see more control over this. That is why we are proposing a fair system which would ensure future migration to the UK is linked to employment, with those wishing to come to the UK required to have a job, or the ability to find one quickly.”