In The Press


26 November 2014

“The solutions to migration pressures will be found at home, not in Brussels.” – Alisdair McIntosh, Business for New Europe.

26 November 2014

Business for New Europe, the business group that makes the positive economic case for EU membership, today published a report calling for the government to take a series of practical steps to address short-term immigration pressures.

The proposed measures would retain the benefits of free movement of people, be relatively simple to implement, and would not require changes in EU treaties - which might be impossible to achieve.

The report, titled Managing Migration: A Practical Approach, also clarifies the true level of immigration in the UK, which is less than some people believe. For example, it highlights statistics showing that the proportion of non-nationals in the UK is currently 7.7% of the population, which is lower than 10 other EU states including Germany (9.4%) and Spain (10.9%). It also emphasises that EU migrants come to the UK to work. For example, only 2.5% of the people claiming jobseeker’s allowance are EU migrants.

The 10 simple, practical measures proposed include: reintroducing a Migration Impacts Fund to help local authorities facing particular pressures; collecting data on the use of public services by different nationalities to provide better information on the impact of migration; and more clearly defining migrants to make statistics more informative by excluding Britons returning to the UK, and students who will likely to return to their country of origin.

Alisdair McIntosh, Director of Business for New Europe, said:

“The government can and should take simple, practical steps to address the short-term pressures caused by the free movement of people within the EU. This common-sense approach is likely to succeed, and is compatible with our membership of the EU, which brings great economic benefits to Britain. Our report shows that the solutions to migration pressures will be found at home, not in Brussels.

“The measures we propose would also help set the issue of migration in a proper context, and help people to better understand it. For example, most people do not realise that there are substantially more immigrants as a share of the population in 10 other EU countries including Germany and Spain.”

The 10 proposals set out in Managing Migration: A Practical Approach are:

1. Provide a clearer definition of who counts as a migrant

2. Introduce entry and exit checks at the border

3. Track citizenship in the use of public services to provide better data on the impact of migration

4. Introduce a resident registration system to better allocate resources

5. Extend the residency requirement of the Habitual Residence Test

6. Provide financial support for local authorities to balance pressures caused by immigration

7. Create incentives for business to reduce reliance on migrants and build local skill bases

8. Improve government communication about measures to address immigration pressures

9. Take tough enforcement action to protect local workforces and immigrants alike

10. Increase the supply of affordable housing.

Fuller details of each of the proposals can be found in the full report. Copies can be downloaded here:
Media Contacts
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Notes to Editors
Business for New Europe is an independent coalition of business leaders advocating a positive case for reform in Europe. Our Advisory Council includes Chairmen and CEOs of FTSE 100 companies and our Executive consists of experts in foreign and economic policy, including former heads of the UK diplomatic service and senior journalists.

We provide a platform for debate on European issues to business leaders and policy makers. We publish research, hold seminars and conferences and seek to ensure that a reasoned, pro-European voice is heard in the UK.

We are a not-for-profit organisation funded by donations from the private sector with offices in London and Brussels.

For further information about BNE, please visit our website where you can see a list of our Advisory Council members, subscribe to our daily press summary, view our publications, and see details of our upcoming events.


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