Brexit would bring UK’s migration down to 100,000 a year, says pressure group
Jan 27, 2016 08:42 PM EST
UK migration could drop to less than 100,000 a year if Britain votes to exit the European Union, according to Migration Watch. The pressure group advocating for tighter immigration measures says a British exit from the EU would let the British Government impose visa requirements on European migrants, which means only skilled workers can enter.
BBC reported that Migration Watch claimed that the move would bring net migration down to only 65,000 a year, from 180,000 a year. However, Pro-Eu campaigners didn't agree with the claim. The UK has scheduled for a referendum on 2017 to decide whether or not it should remain a member of the EU.
According to Telegraph, a Brexit would lead to the end of the "Polish builder" phenomenon, which was a wave of low-skilled labour entering into the nation's job market after Poland and other European countries became members of the EU in 2004. Britain's annual net migration is headed towards a record high of 336,000, most of who are from eastern European nations. Net migration is the difference between those arriving and those emigrating.
"It is time to examine possible alternative immigration regimes," said Migration Watch head Lord Green of Deddington in a report by BT. "Under the current arrangements all the signs are that EU migration to Britain will continue at a substantial rate for the foreseeable future."
"Net EU migration now amounts to 180,000 a year. Work permits for EU citizens would substantially reduce net migration and its resultant pressure on our population and public services," he added.
It is not yet clear, however, whether a Brexit would really lead to less migration. There are still a lot of issues to consider, including new settlement terms, the influx of migrants before the exit, and where businesses that hire low-skilled workers would get their employees. Also, if the EU would impose work permit for workers from Britain, that might lead to lesser UK emigration.