The Migration Watch Report

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
8 April 2019

The Migration Watch released a publication in February 2019 saying that post-Brexit, the UK visa proposals would lead to record levels of Immigration. However, shortly afterwards a non-political think-tank issued a second press release saying that Migration Watch has an anti-immigration agenda; That they are biased and that they made a mistake with the figures. A study that was published by Migration Watch suggested that the Government’s plans for Brexit could see UK’s immigration numbers increase by as much as 100,000. However, shortly afterwards Migration Watch withdrew the study, stating that there was an error in the calculations and apologising for the error. The estimated figures are said to be based on the predictive effects of the Government’s UK Immigration White Paper which was published in December 2018. The White Paper outlined the Government’s proposals for a new skills-based immigration system, similar to the current Tier 2 visa system and an end to the free movement, once the UK exits the EU. According to the report the net migration from EU or non-EU nationals looks to increase after Brexit to approximately an additional 100,000 rise. This is based on the assumption that a lower salary threshold will be put in place for certain skilled workers to come to the UK. Currently the threshold is £30,000 minimum salary for skilled professionals to obtain a Tier 2 visa with some exceptions. If the threshold were to be dropped to £21,000 a significant rise of immigration to the UK will follow. However, the Government did not propose lowering the threshold. It indicated in the White Paper that it may look to lower the £30,000 in some circumstances, but did not disclose what the reduction would actually be. The White Paper confirms that from 1st January 2021 everyone except British and Irish citizens will be required to obtain immigration permission if they want to live, work or study in the UK.