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CaSE responds to S&T Committee report setting out immigration proposals

19 Jul 2018

The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee have today published their report on ‘An immigration system that works for science and innovation’.

Theresa May’s commitments in her Jodrell Bank speech to ensure ‘scientific collaboration and the free exchange of ideas is increased and extended, both between the UK and the European Union and with partners around the world’ and, the UK is ‘the best place to start and grow a high-tech business’ will simply remain wishful thinking if the current immigration system for non-EEA nationals is extended to cover all migration post-Brexit. The Science and Technology Committee have today outlined the beginnings of an alternative system.

CaSE Executive Director Dr Sarah Main said:

“Designing a new system is fraught with political and technical difficulty and so I commend the Committee for grasping the nettle and setting out a proposal for a new immigration system. Their proposal demonstrates that they have heard loud and clear that a single system with the level of burden and bureaucracy of the current non-EEA system would be incompatible with ambitions for the UK to be ‘a global centre for scientific discovery and creativity’ post-Brexit. 

The Government must use Brexit as a reset point for UK immigration policy so that it is fit for the future; contributing to rather than fighting against Government’s wider economic and societal aims.”

Many of the Committee’s recommendations reflect those we set out in our immigration policy review earlier this year which we published following extensive engagement with our members to understand what they need from a migration system.CaSE Executive Director Dr Sarah Main said:

“We’re delighted the Committee have echoed many of our recommendations. CaSE has worked closely with the Home Office in the past to improve immigration policy for scientists and engineers. In line with the Committee’s call for co-creation of new policies, we urge the Home Office to work with CaSE and other experts in the sector during policy development in the crucial weeks and months ahead. It’s in all our interests to get this right.”