IPPR’s Phoebe Griffith’s: The net migration target on BBC News

IPPR’s Phoebe Griffith’s: The net migration target on BBC News


So Phoebe, the Conservative’s talking about
getting net migration down to tens of thousands
which is something we’ve heard from them before,
is that in your view achievable? Well it’s
not really clear from this manifesto at least,
the policies that are in the manifesto seem
very similar to the policies we’ve had for
the past six years and we know that non-EU
migration remains pretty high still. We’ve
kept international students within the target
which is a substantive part of that number,
the policies around family reunion which propose
to lift the amount that people who can sponsor
migrants from abroad to make them have to
earn more before they can sponsor spouses,
we’ve also sort of tried that route. And on
non-EU workers, I mean the numbers aren’t
significant and as we know employers have
kind of put up a lot of resistance for further
taxation on them before they can kind of bring
workers from outside the EU because I think
there we are actually kind of, you know those
are policies that we’ve already bottomed out
so it’s not really clear how what is in the
manifesto is going to deliver what the Prime
Minister is proposing. But is it right for
the Prime Minister to propose this, a cut
in net migration? Because a lot of people
will say effectively that’s what many voters
in the Brexit referendum were voting for,
to leave the EU, to leave the single market
and therefore to stop the free movement of
people and to curb immigration. Yes and the
Prime Minister has also said that she wants
to get a good deal for Britain and it’s very
clear that free movement from within the European
Union has to be in the mix when we go to the
negotiating table. You know the levels of
access we get to the single market in the
European Union is going to be conditional
on the sort of number of compromises we’re
able to make around free movement. So you
know just promising that we will bring down
migration you know at whatever cost is pretty
problematic. You think it’s going to be very
difficult to keep that promise even if we
do leave the single market? I think it is
going to be very difficult, I mean migration
is very much part of our economy and our society,
this is why the numbers are very high so you
know- because businesses need workers from
abroad? I mean in particular from the EU,
I mean a number of sectors of our economy
are now highly reliant on EU migrants, the
government itself can’t quite sort of pinpoint which sectors will see significant restrictions
and as I’ve said already, you know the levels
of economic migration from outside the EU
aren’t particularly high which is the sort
of the type of immigration that the government
does have control over. So it is very hard
to sort of understand what exactly the strategy
behind this net migration target would be
moving forward. Thank you for being with us,
Phoebe Griffith there from the Institute for
Public Policy Research.

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