Immigration Policy Statement from the ALP

Communication from David Camp, ALP Chief Executive.

The Government’s immigration plans as outlined last week are deeply concerning.

UK employment is at record levels. Currently, many migrants come to the UK to perform key lower skilled roles in sectors such as agriculture, food production, care, construction and hospitality for which there are not enough local workers or which UK nationals and residents choose not to perform. That essential labour route is being switched off.  As there will be no route for the production line workers, warehouse pickers, waste sorters, carers, service staff, cleaners, labourers and so on that underpin business and our economy, the inevitable impact of this will be to reduce investment in the UK, escalate business retraction and closures and drive production abroad.  The UK needs a workforce at all levels.  It is a false hope to expect to rely on 8m+ economically inactive individuals who have chosen not to or are unable to work.

The new Points Based System will open the UK up to uncapped immigration of semi and higher skilled migrants from all around the world. As described so far, the new system is rife with loopholes, open to abuse on a massive scale orchestrated by criminals and profiteers. One likely impact will be to lower and suppress salary levels for UK nationals and residents in roles at RFQ3 level and above. Once this starts playing out there will be significant political backlash.

The Home Office states that they “will continue to refine the system in the light of experience and will consider adding further flexibility into the system”. They need to move quickly.

The ALP recommends to every business that does not agree with the Government’s immigration proposals to write to their MP to express their views. We offer a template below.

To: Find my MP

[Enter your business name and details]:

  • Supports Government policy to raise the National Living Wage and national insurance thresholds for lower paid workers.
  • Acknowledges the overarching objective to control immigration but regards the rhetoric around ending reliance on “cheap, low skilled labour” to be derogatory to the UK food industry and even more so to the hard working individuals who perform the essential entry level roles needed in our country to maintain a well-functioning society and thriving economy.
  • Calls on the UK Government to:
  1. Urgently build a sector specific evidence base to fully understand the impact on UK industry and the wider economy of this hard stop to lower paid migration
  2. Develop a holistic access to labour strategy to address national labour constraints within entry level roles
  3. Recognise food production and food distribution as essential national industries and introduce, as a minimum immediate step, interim transitional lower paid migration arrangements.

As our MP, we call upon you to make the above case to Government and would like to invite you to our site to discuss and understand our needs. I will call your constituency office to arrange a date and time.