Leaving the EU presents “an opportunity to reform Britain’s immigration policy” and replace it with “a system that works for everyone,” according to a new report published today.
British Future and Hope Not Hate’s report, which follows the biggest-ever public consultation on immigration and integration, revealed that just 15 per cent thought the government had managed immigration competently and fairly.
But they added that “mistrust over immigration was also linked to a broader mistrust of politicians”, with only 13 per cent of respondents trusting MPs to tell the truth most or all of the time.
Their report suggested that Britain leaving the EU offered “a window of opportunity” for reform: they accepted that “developing a future immigration system that commands public support and is negotiable with the EU will be a difficult task for the government.”
But the organisations also pointed out that “changes to immigration policy alone will not address the concerns that the public hold on immigration.”
They recommended the government “take action against rogue landlords, enforce labour standards, promote integration and make sure that public services and housing supply can respond to increased demand” to “secure public consent for the immigration that the economy needs.”
The report also said Britain’s asylum system needed to be “fair, efficient and humane,” noting that in 2017 “36 per cent of asylum-seekers who appealed against a negative decision were later granted refugee status.”
They said that the current “errors and backlogs” in the immigration system “causes anxiety for refugees while also incurring an unnecessary expense for the taxpayer.”
And asylum-seekers should be allowed to work if their case had not been decided within six months, they argue.
The report further called on the government to ensure British citizenship for all children born in Britain and to allow immigration policy to be “flexible enough to take into account the best interests of children in decision-making.”
Co-author Jill Rutter, director of strategy for British Future, said that “while people do want the UK government to have more control over who can come to the UK, most of them are ‘balancers’,” who recognise the benefits of migration to Britain, while voicing “concerns about pressures on public services and housing.”