Responding to the publication of the Home Affairs Committee’s report on building a consensus around immigration policy, Seamus Nevin, Head of Policy Research at the Institute of Directors, said:
“There is a real deficit of honest and sensible debate in the UK about the costs and benefits of immigration. As this report shows, discussion is being obstructed by the Government's adherence to their counter-productive net migration target. The Home Affairs Committee is right that the Government has a responsibility to do a better job at building a consensus for immigration policy, but businesses must share that responsibility too.
“The workplace is one of the best ways to integrate and can be at the forefront of building confidence regarding future immigration. Employers who rely on international workers cannot ignore the public’s concerns. There needs to be a joined-up effort between business and political leaders to help develop a clear plan to manage the challenges of immigration, while highlighting the rewards it gives the UK.
“This report, based on suggestions from ordinary people, makes some common sense proposals – from the Exchequer recording immigrants’ economic contributions to enhancing the migration impact fund – and should be taken seriously. Crucially, however, in order to restore faith in the system, the public have to see that the administrative bodies are fully engaged in responding to their wish to exercise greater control of immigration. So stronger action to prevent exploitation of workers from overseas and greater focus on law enforcement and security checks by the Home Office would be welcome. We hope the Government will act swiftly to implement these recommendations.”