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Press Releases General Election

Tens of thousands target is ‘poor substitute for proper immigration policy’

08 May 2017

airport queue of people at borderResponding to Theresa May’s confirmation this morning that she believes the ‘sustainable’ level immigration is in the ‘tens of thousands’, Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“A target is a poor substitute for a proper immigration policy. All parties should instead see Brexit as an opportunity to come up with a new system that is good for the economy, but also addresses voters’ concerns.

“The next government must improve the education system so young people are ready to fill roles in developing industries, and workers of all ages can re-train as needed to find fulfilling jobs. This is the only sustainable way to reduce the demand for skills from abroad.

“The are some steps all parties can take now. It makes no sense to view students as migrants, they are only here temporarily and are essential to our universities, so they should not be included in any future target.

“We also need to know how the different sides in the general election would approach Brexit negotiations on the future of movement between the UK and the EU. Trade isn’t just about goods being sold, services exports require people to be able to travel for business. This will be an important part of our future trading relationship, not only with the EU, but also with the rest of the world.”

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