Brexit [British exit], a scenario which could see the United Kingdom quit the European Union (EU), would not affect immigration to Britain, a study by Open Europe, an independent think tank working for promotion of integration of EU, says.
A special report published by Open Europe is of the view that developed economies, which are relatively larger and have low unemployment rates, will continue to act as magnets for immigration, regardless of whether or not they endorse the free movement principle of the EU.
Stephen Booth, co-director at Open Europe, said that their organization did not feel that immigration would drop in countries outside the EU. He added that a few other developed economies were also seeing high immigration levels.
As per the think tank, the UK attracted immigrants accounting for 0.37 percent of the entire UK population, on an average, for each year between the years 2000 and 2015.
Open Europe suggested that Britain institute a points-based system to attract more skilled workers who are needed direly in certain sectors, in addition to continuing to allow workers with low skills to meet the requirement of the labour workforce. It also advised Britain against imposing restriction on EU citizens regarding their right to live and work in their country as it would make Britain incur costs in negotiations with other EU states in future trade agreements.
In the post-Brexit world, the UK would also need to modify new trade agreements with dynamic, emerging economies like India and China, as these countries would want more encouraging visa regimes or new means of allowing their citizens into the UK, it added.
In order to obtain more benefits, following its probable exit from the EU, the UK needs to liberalise further and embrace much more globalisation, suggested Open Europe.
Both private and public employers in the UK have much more of a welcoming attitude towards highly skilled job applicants compared to the other European Union countries, says Centre for European Reform (CER), another think tank, whose aim is to better the debate quality on EU.CER says that this positive attitude was one of most important reasons behind UK immigrants having better skills than their counterparts in other EU countries. It also stated that migrant workers were the largest contributors to Britain’s public finances. The CER study also showed that immigration into the UK has picked up much more in the last two years as the UK’s economic turnaround gained traction.