Political parties must all put fair, evidence-backed immigration policies in their June 8 manifestos, urges Brunel-based think tank, Britain in Europe.
The call follows Theresa May’s refusal to remove foreign students from immigration figures, ignoring warnings of harm to world-class UK universities.
It also follows a demand from pro-Brexit hardliners, ‘Leave Means Leave’ to freeze entry for non-skilled workers.
The pressure group backed by more than 20 Tory MPs also wants to slash net migration from 273,000 to 50,000 a year and ban work visas for people earning below £35,000.
Britain in Europe says these ideas are not founded in fact and warns all political parties to steer clear from heavy-handed post-Brexit immigration policies in election promises.
Key workers like nurses, teachers, social workers and technicians would be barred by the wage requirement, leaving the UK with no socially and economically workable way forward, it says.
Professor Julian Petley from Brunel University London paints a grim picture describing fruit rotting in fields, universities closing without overseas students, no transport and no one to staff bars, restaurants and hotels.
“Anybody who believes British employers are going to step forward to train native Brits to do these jobs knows nothing of British industries’ notorious unwillingness to invest in training and is woefully ignorant of the education system that has left many people unemployable.”
Without European work regulations, he says “British workers will be working for poverty wages in vile conditions and deprived of benefits if they refuse.”
Stripping EU citizens arriving in the UK after 29 March 2017 of their right to stay here indefinitely, as the pressure group suggests, risks breaching the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain in Europe add.
“Britain in Europe calls on all political parties to oppose such extreme, uninformed and highly divisive immigration policies,” said Britain in Europe Director Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, from Brunel Law School. “We urge parties to resist the post-Brexit populist temptation and put the economic wellbeing of the country and social cohesion first.”
Read Britain in Europe’s immigration post Brexit brief here
Hayley Jarvis, Media Relations