In a series of briefings, the Royal Society of Edinburgh have encouraged all UK Governments to consider long-term economic and demographic impacts of migratory reform, as well as short term labour market needs.

With a strong focus on Scotland, the report concludes that a differentiated points-based system would be the most effective in responding to Scotland’s demographic, economic and socio-cultural goals. Additionally, the paper demonstrates that given a significant proportion of EU immigration is clustered in lower-skilled jobs, it is vital to explore how labour shortages in such areas would be addressed post-Brexit.

Summary:

  • Immigration policy should place central weight on the rights, status and well-being of long-term foreign-born residents.
  • Short-term responses in the form of seasonal worker and temporary labour programmes should build in appropriate rights and protection for immigrant workers, and need to take account of the impacts on those who have ‘made a life’ in the UK, albeit on the basis of such forms of employment.
  • Approaches to integration need to span local and national policy and administration; and there is a need for a wide-ranging debate at Scottish and UK levels about identity, belonging and community formation.
  • The UK is not currently bound to adopt EU common measures on asylum. In this sense, Brexit would not significantly affect the UK’s autonomy over asylum policy.

To read more from RSE, visit their website.