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How will curbs on EU migration affect UK businesses and industries? Lords to investigate


The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee will continue its short inquiry into Brexit: UK-EU movement of people on Wednesday 14 December. The Committee will hear evidence from NHS Employers, National Farmers Union, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Institute of Directors (IoD) and British Chambers of Commerce.

The CBI and the IoD have called for a straightforward new immigration system that “maintains preferential access between the UK and the EU.” The Committee will assess with the CBI, IoD and the British Chambers of Commerce whether potential future EU migration systems will be sufficient to support workforces reliant on EU migrants as well as the economic impact to business and industries.

In the second session, the Committee will explore with NHS Employers and the NFU how possible future arrangements for EU-UK migration might impact their sectors in areas including their ability to recruit, wages and prices.

At 10:30am the Committee will speak to:

  • Josh Hardie, Deputy Director-General for Policy and Campaigns, Confederation of British Industries
  • Marcus Mason, Head of Business, Education and Skills, British Chambers of Commerce
  • Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills Policy, Institute of Directors

The Committee is likely to ask:

  • If the immigration system for EU migration were to be merged with non-EU migration should we expect this to lead to increased wages or employment for British workers?
  • Would that be the case in some sectors or in all sectors and could higher wages be at the expense of higher prices for consumers?
  • If the sectors currently most reliant on EU migrants to fill low and medium-skills jobs were no longer to have access to that kind of labour, how do you anticipate they might respond?

At 11:30am the Committee will speak to:

  • Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive, NHS Employers
  • Minette Batters, Deputy President, National Farmers Union (NFU)

The Committee is likely to ask:

  • What are the pros and cons of free movement with an emergency brake and the implications?
  • Would you anticipate that a reduction in EU migration would ease pressures on the NHS and if so, would this affect your workforce requirements?
  • Would a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme work and would that system be an option for controlling EU migration in the agricultural sector?

The House of Lords EU Committee and its six Sub-Committees are conducting a coordinated series of short inquiries looking at the key issues that will arise in the forthcoming negotiations on Brexit. Taken as a whole, this programme of work will be the most extensive and thorough parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit.

The evidence sessions will take place at 10:30am and 11:30am on Wednesday 14 December in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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