Business groups have joined together to demand a role in shaping the UK’s immigration system post-Brexit.
Lobby groups, including the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT), Confederation of British Industry (CBI), British Chambers of Commerce and Federation of Small Business, have written to home secretary Priti Patel offering their help in designing a new immigration system.
Signatories said they welcomed recent indications that the government was considering reducing the £30,000 salary test and scraping the net migration target, adding this had “sent positive and important signals around the world that the UK is open for business”.
The letter also laid out four key priorities: flexibility for skilled workers to enter the UK through a points-based system, a temporary visa route for all sectors, a minimum salary threshold set at a level that supports the economy, and a “radically reformed” sponsorship process.
The letter said: “Fair and sustainable immigration is critical for growth across the UK. It is a top priority for businesses and the signatories of this letter. Together, we represent hundreds of thousands of firms of every size, sector and region, employing millions of people. We are writing to offer our help to make the new immigration system a success.
“Recent announcements have increased optimism about how a system might work. A new two-year post-study work visa for international students, dropping the target to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands” and signals that the £30,000 minimum salary test may change are welcome and have sent positive and important signals around the world that the UK is open for business.
“Business understands that the immigration system must change in order to rebuild public confidence. Insight from enterprise can help build a points-based model that provides greater control, whilst providing access to the labour and skills needed to support the economy. And this can go hand in hand with a continued determination to invest in training home grown talent.”