Responding to Amber Rudd’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Seamus Nevin, Head of Policy Research at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Employers will welcome the tone of Rudd’s speech today. The Home Secretary’s commitment to working with business to develop an immigration system that addresses public concerns but still works for employers is encouraging. Her reassurances on transitional arrangements and not imposing unnecessary burdens on business are also important.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape our immigration system. It is, therefore, all the more important we get it right. Evidence-based policymaking is the right approach, but this requires data that is fit for purpose. Currently the different state bodies, including the Department for Work and Pensions, HMRC, the Home Office and the NHS, do not cross-check their respective records. As such, most UK inhabitants have several separate unique identifiers – National Insurance, NHS or a passport number, for example — which results in government having contradictory immigration and population statistics according to different datasets.
“The Government must use the period before Brexit to improve its methods of collecting and recording data on the number of people coming to and, just as importantly, leaving the UK. As well as who they are and what they do. Now is the time to be putting in place the infrastructure we will need to manage our immigration system after we leave.”