Home Secretary Theresa May is calling for immigrants to the UK to have a job to go to before coming to the country.
She said the current migration figures are “simply unsustainable” and criticised the EU’s lack of borders for contributing to the problem.
The Home Secretary said that the idea of free movement was originally set up to allow people to migrate to other countries to take up new jobs, not to seek work or claim benefits. She said: “Yet last year, four out of 10 EU migrants - 63,000 people - came here with no definite job whatsoever.”
However, business leaders are concerned about her comments and reiterated the importance of immigration in sustaining the UK’s economy.
John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, said that most people migrating to the UK were doing so to work and add to the UK’s wealth.
He said putting in place a requirement that migrants had a job to come to would cause problems for businesses, as many do not have the capacity advertise and recruit abroad.
Meanwhile, Mrs May also blamed the ‘borderless’ EU for contributing to the refugee crisis on the continent, involving thousands of people fleeing war in Syria and Afghanistan.
She wrote in the Sunday Times: “The events of this summer have shown that the most tragic consequences of a broken European migration system have been borne by those at risk of exploitation..
“This is a wake-up call for the EU Its leaders must consider the consequences of uncontrolled migration - on wages, jobs and social cohesion of the destination nations; on the economies and societies of the rest; and on the lives and welfare of those who seek to come here.”