UK needs work permits to keep out low-skilled immigrants, says Migration Watch chair

'The UK should introduce work permits as we don't need low skilled immigrant workers', says Migration Watch

Lord Andrew Green says we need a reasonably smooth Brexit

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The UK should introduce work permits to keep out low-skilled immigrant workers, says the chair of Migration Watch.

Lord Andrew Green was speaking to talkRADIO after Home Secretary Amber Rudd launched an independent review to research the impact of EU migrants on the UK's economy, and aim to find out whether immigrants put British workers at a disadvantage.

Green told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "An objective analysis on whether we really do depend on immigration, and if so where and why, is well worth attempting."

He believes that we need to "bring in work permits, which would mean that only the very highly skilled could come in" to the UK. He believes that "frankly we don't need" lesser-skilled workers.

But he added that he accepts "that there needs to be a sort of transitional arrangement", particularly for industries like bricklaying or plumbing. Therefore "there should be a kind of second tier of work permit, valid only for a limited number of years.

"The employer would have to pay quite a high price [for this second tier permit] because unless it’s cheaper for him or her to employ [and] train a Brit, then they won’t. They’ll take a cheap worker from Eastern Europe.”

Green added that "one of the reasons we got the outcome to the referendum that we did get, that out there in the real world so to speak, people are well aware of the pressures that arise from immigration."

Listen to the full interview above