In Immigration, The manifesto challenge: 10 steps to restore public trust on immigration and integration, British Future sets out ten practical measures that could help to rebuild trust and confidence in how we manage immigration and integration in Britain. These proposals would, we believe, secure the support of most voters across the political and referendum divides – so we hope that politicians of all parties will consider them, as they discuss immigration during the General Election campaign.
Immigration remains an important issue for voters in this election. They will want to know what solutions candidates and their parties would offer in response to the key immigration policy challenges facing Britain. We believe that all candidates and parties fighting this election should be able to answer the following ten key questions on immigration:
(1) What needs to happen for Britain to have an immigration system that works properly and fairly – and is able to deal with the additional pressures of Brexit?
(2) Should free movement end after Britain leaves the European Union? What new rules should the UK have for European migrants to Britain after Brexit?
(3) Should the British government set targets for immigration levels? How should those targets be set? Where targets are set, what are the policies that would meet them? What is the right timescale for meeting them? What should happen if targets are missed?
(4) How should our approach to non-EU migration change after Brexit? Do the parties propose to significantly reduce non-EU migration for work, or to maintain it, or to increase some forms of immigration? Does the party propose any significant changes to the rules on family migration?
(5) What is the right balance between developing skills in the UK and bringing in skills that the economy and public services need? What policies are needed to achieve it?
(6) Are candidates and their parties committed to honouring the UK’s international obligations to protect refugees? What contribution should the UK make to the refugee crisis? What needs to happen to ensure that refugees who do come to Britain get to make their full contribution to our society?
(7) Should the UK aim to reduce the numbers of international students who come to Britain – or should we maintain or try to increase the numbers? What does the UK need to do to attract the students that it does want?
(8) What new policies are needed to address the local impacts of migration on public services and housing?
(9) How can we secure public confidence and consent on immigration? Are there ways of engaging the public on questions about immigration in a way that builds trust and looks for common-ground solutions?
(10) What are the most important ways to improve integration in Britain?