MPs have recommended that the UK adopts an immigration system similar to the one used in Canada once the country has left the European Union.
Rather than a one size fits all approach, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration recommended that UK visas are issued on a more regional basis. Its report suggests that decisions on immigration should be brought down to the local level, allowing quotas to be introduced that are based on an area’s “economic and cultural needs”.
The report said: “Through the introduction of policies aimed at directing population flows to areas of the country which require higher levels of immigration or do not currently attract a great many immigrants, policymakers might minimise strain on public services and on community relations whilst bolstering regional economies.”
This is similar to the Canadian system, where regional authorities have the power to decide how many immigrants they need in their locality.
The report also recommends that people seeking to move to the UK from overseas should have to learn English. And it called for the Government to do more to promote an understanding of British traditions, cultures and laws among those seeking to migrate to the UK.
The committee’s chair, Labour MP Chuka Umunna, said: “It’s clear that immigration has impacted on different communities in different ways and the pace of change has alarmed many.”
There have already been a number of suggestions that different regions should be allowed to set their own post-Brexit immigration policies. London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has spoken in favour of a special visa system for the capital to ensure sufficient skilled people from abroad can continue to work in the city.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also called for Scotland to be allowed to set its own immigration policies, again to ensure free movement of talented people within the Scottish economy.