Brexit won’t guarantee reduced immigration, according to House of Lords report

Brexit may not deliver an overall reduction in the number of foreign nationals entering Britain, according to a House of Lords report published Monday.

Immigration is seen as the biggest factor behind last year's vote by the people of Britain to end its 43-year membership of the European Union.

The report, titled "Brexit: UK-EU movement of people", set out to examine the possible arrangements for EU citizens looking to move to Britain after the government ends the current free movement agreement.

One of four key findings highlighted is a suggestion that there is no guarantee of reduced inward migration after Brexit is finalized.

"The restoration of national control over EU migration may or may not deliver a reduction in overall net migration.

"We note that until June 2016, net migration to the UK from outside the EU was consistently higher than EU migration, even though the relevant policy levers are already under national control," the report reads.

The publication also concluded that employers and the public alike don't want EU nationals to face the UK's current non-EU work permit system. The respondents warned it could harm employers and lead to labor shortages across the country.

Commenting on the report, Baroness Prashar, Chairman of the Sub-Committee, said employers would need a gentle introduction to the post-Brexit landscape.

"Crucial sectors of the economy depend on EU migrant labor, so it is essential that any changes don't endanger the vibrancy of the UK economy.

"We, therefore, recommend a phased transition to avoid the short-term shocks to particular sectors," she said.

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The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee report also concluded that offering preferential treatment to EU nationals, compared to non-EU nationals, would likely secure a better deal for Britons looking to live and work in Europe.

"It could also improve the prospects of achieving the UK's objectives on access to the Single Market.

"We consider it vital that the Government should not close off policy options on future regulation of EU immigration ahead of negotiations with the EU-27," it read.

Prashar said the study found that what currently constitutes a migrant remained confusing to the general public.

She added that closing the door on cheap, flexible labor from overseas would need more than just a change in immigration policy.

"If the Government's ultimate objective is to reduce dependency on low-cost migrant labor, it needs to look beyond immigration policy.

We need a reassessment of the Government's industrial strategy, its education and skills policy, and its public spending plans," she concluded.