Monday, September 12, 2016

Immigration Policy for a Post-Brexit Britain


Photo courtesy of Don Roth

By now, we have fully absorbed the implications of the Brexit vote.  The question now is what the United Kingdom's immigration policy will be. 

The Bloomberg editorial board notes that the UK should adopt immigration policy that makes sense for the English economy. 


A key demand of Brexit voters was to take back control of the U.K.’s immigration policy. Prime Minister Theresa May has promised that she will -- but hasn’t said what she’ll do with this control once she has it.

Many Brexit supporters are hoping for a severely restrictive system. However, the Bloomberg editorial board thinks that this would be a mistake, and May ought to say so. Liberal rules on immigration, exercised at Britain’s discretion, would best serve Britain’s interests. As things stand, the ruling Conservative Party is pledged to bring net migration down to the “tens of thousands.” A figure in the lower part of that range would certainly be too tight. Even if such a policy were feasible, which it isn’t, it would injure the economy and make friendly post-Brexit relations with the European Union all the harder. Control doesn’t require, and shouldn’t mean, excessively tight restrictions.


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