What is the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) Report?
The MAC report on the impact of EEA migration in the UK is part of the process of the UK preparing for Brexit. Its purpose is to look at immigration in the UK, in particular those immigrants coming from Europe, and to establish what policies and processes should be put in place to govern that once the final separation from Europe has taken place. The recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee have come as a shock to many who were hoping that immigration from the EU would remain largely the same is it has done previously. In reality, it looks as though – if the MAC recommendations are put into place – the change could be fairly significant.
The background to the MAC
The MAC is an advisory, non-departmental public body that is sponsored by the Home Office. Its purpose is to advise the government on the topic of immigration issues. So, in the context of the imminent departure from the EU – for which immigration is one of the most pressing topics – it’s perfectly placed to provide support. The MAC is independent and non-statutory. It is also not limited by time and is not contained within any governmental departments. It advises on a range of issues where immigration is affecting the UK, including the impact of international students.
The MAC report on EEA workers in the UK labour market
The MAC released its Brexit-focused report on the way that EEA workers impact on the UK labour market in September 2018. The report was compiled after a closed consultation process that was designed to discover the best possible option for the UK with respect to European worker immigration once the departure from the EU has fully taken place. The results of the report have been heavily criticised and many in the construction sector are concerned that its recommendations could significantly impact on the industry and the way that it currently functions.
The main recommendation
The key focus for many critics of the MAC report has been its recommendation as to low skilled workers. The purpose of the report was to look into economic and social impacts of immigration and how this should work after Brexit has taken place. One of the main conclusions into the best way to approach immigration after Brexit was that the number of low skilled EU workers should be restricted from entering the UK. In fact, the report states that there should be no “explicit work migration route for low-skilled workers.”
The report said that the existing numbers of EEA workers in the UK would be unlikely to change and that this would reduce the impact of its recommendations being put into place. However, there has been widespread condemnation of the proposed policy change – and in particular from the construction sector, some parts of which have come to rely heavily on workers from overseas.
At RG Group we are always focused on the key issues in construction and what changes are likely to impact the industry in the near future. If you have a project coming up, work with us today by speaking to one of our team on 01732 526 850.