Labour has outlined its vision for immigration controls after Brexit, suggesting migration could be controlled by a “tailored mix” of work permits, visas and employer sponsorship. The party’s manifesto says it “will not discriminate between people of different races or creeds” but that “freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union” and “Britain’s immigration system will change”. The party says a Labour government would work “with businesses, trade unions, devolved governments and others to identify specific labour and skill shortages” and set policy accordingly.
“Whatever our trade arrangements, we will need new migration management systems, transparent and fair to everybody. Working with businesses, trade unions, devolved governments and others to identify specific labour and skill shortages,” the document, unveiled by Jeremy Corbyn in Bradford on Tuesday, says. “Working together we will institute a new system which is based on our economic needs, balancing controls and existing entitlements. This may include employer sponsorship, work permits, visa regulations or a tailored mix of all these which works for the many, not the few.”
The system would also “distinguish between migrant labour and family attachment”, the party says. In addition to the new framework, Labour says it will protect EU citizens who are already here, end indefinite immigration detention, and scrap the income threshold for bringing foreign spouses in the country. Mr Corbyn said: “Only Labour has a plan to make Brexit work for ordinary people. We are clear: The choice is now a Labour Brexit that puts jobs first, or a Tory Brexit that will be geared to the interests of the City, and will risk making Britain a low-wage tax haven.
“As we leave the European Union, because that is what the people have voted for, only Labour will negotiate a deal that preserves jobs and access to the single market, preserves rights and does not plunge our country into a race to the bottom.” The Conservatives are expected to unveil their plans for the immigration system in their manifesto, which is due to be launched this week.
Theresa May has said Britain will have “control” of its borders and that free movement will end. Downing Street has ruled out the points-based immigration system promised by Leave campaigners but given no further details.