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Immigration inquiry launched

8 December 2016

The Home Affairs Committee launches an inquiry into developing a consensus on an effective immigration policy.


Immigration is regularly identified as one of the most important issues facing the UK. Views on immigration have become polarised with little debate about different kinds of immigration. In this inquiry the Committee wants to establish what areas of common ground exist and to make a positive contribution to developing an effective post-Brexit immigration policy.

The Committee wants to hear people's views – on their concerns – about immigration at a local and national level, and their suggestions for what approaches the Government might adopt to build consensus on how future immigration to the UK should be dealt with.

The Committee intends to host meetings across the United Kingdom to hear people's views first-hand. The Committee also welcomes written submissions and have outlined below some key issues that contributors might wish to address.

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee intends this to be a wide-ranging inquiry. You may want to consider the following questions but your written evidence does not need to be restricted to these points:

  • What approach should the Government take to different kinds of migration – for example skilled, unskilled, family migration, students and refugees?
  • What are the benefits and problems with different kinds and levels of migration, for the economy and society?
  • What approach should be taken to EU migration as part of the Brexit negotiations – for example, points-based systems, or work permits; and geographical variations?
  • What steps should be taken to manage the impact of migration in communities?
  • Is it possible to build greater consensus behind immigration policy? What steps would be needed to do so?
  • How should trade-offs between immigration policy and economic policy be handled?

Chair's comments

Launching her first major inquiry as Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, Yvette Cooper MP said:

"Immigration is one of the most important issues facing our country and will be central to the Brexit deal. Britain voted for change, especially on free movement, but there has been very little debate about what kind of reforms or immigration control that should now mean or how we get the best deal for the country.

Successive Governments have failed on immigration and public concern has grown. Yet too often the polarised nature of the debate makes it hard to get consensus over what should be done instead. If there is no consensus behind the most important parts of the Brexit deal in the end it will unravel.

That is why our cross-party Committee will be holding a different kind of inquiry – looking outward at the country not inward at the Government. Instead of just taking evidence in Westminster, we will be travelling round every region and nation, holding public meetings, bringing local people together for debates and discussions, citizens' juries, and online consultations. We are encouraging other organisations to run events and debates too – community groups, business organisations, faith groups, think-tanks, local councils, MPs, media organisations. We want to hear people's views both about immigration and about how they believe that common ground can be found to stop this issue dividing the country."

Read the Chair's full launch event speech.

Send a written submission

It would be helpful to receive written submissions for this inquiry by Friday 20 January 2017 but submissions will be accepted after this date.

If submitting evidence in this way is difficult for you, you can email it to the Committee instead using this address

Your submission needs to be in Word format and please try to avoid using colour type or logos.

Submissions should not exceed 3,000 words – and short submissions are welcome.

Further information

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