How UK’s decision to reduce intake of immigrants will affect its economy
Posted on October 21, 2017
With the British government looking to reduce the intake of migrants from the European Union soon after Brexit in March 2019, it is gearing up to put in place stringent regulations.
This is notwithstanding the fact that it needs more EU Workers to construct homes for its citizens, harvest crops in the country and to develop its next startup.
Meanwhile, it is said that would hurt health care very badly. According to the National Health Service, there are more than 11,000 open nursing jobs in England and 6,000 in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Healthcare, which is overburdened, as per the British Red Cross, is looking at a humanitarian crisis, with the NHS depending already on 33,000 nurses from the Continent.
Josie Irwin, employment head at the Royal College of Nursing, was quoted by CNN Money as saying that the NHS could be described as facing a crisis. Abetting the major staff shortage problems is the Brexit, which will aggravate the situation further.
It is said that EU nationals now comprise 22 percent of UK’s nursing staff.
Besides, the unemployment rate is at its lowest in four decades and there are not a sufficient number of nurses in Britain.
The problem dogs other sectors as well such as agriculture, education and others.
But immigration, unfortunately, became the most crucial issue for voters ahead of the Brexit referendum in June 2016, said an Ipsos Mori poll. Following that, Theresa May, who became the prime minister, promised to reduce the annual net migration to below 100,000, while the number of migrants in 2016 was 248,000.
Heather Rolfe, a researcher at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said that the government was letting politics take precedence over economics, which was dangerous.
Labour economists opine that a major fall in immigration would bleed the British economy.
The Office for Budget Responsibility, an economic advisory body to the government, said that by reducing the intake of immigrants by 80,000 a year, the yearly economic growth would fall by 0.2 percentage points.
Christian Dustmann of University College London said that to let go of these people would be quite difficult and it would result in some sectors finding it tough to stay afloat.
Some European Workers, apprehensive over political developments and unsure of their legal status, are said to be leaving Britain already.
The Office for National Statistics said the net migration from the EU dropped from 184,000 in 2015 to 133,000 in 2016.
According to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, about 6,400 EU nurses registered to work in the UK in the year ended March 2017, a decline of 32 percent from 2016. In addition, 3,000 more EU nurses quit work in the UK recently.
Irwin said the British government is making it tougher to attract new British nurses into the profession by abolishing college scholarship programs and restricting salaries. This has caused applications for nursing courses to drop by 20 percent.
On the other hand, the Food and Drink Federation said that one out of every three persons supplying food to Britain is from the EU.
The British Hospitality Association, which represents 46,000 restaurants, hotels and clubs, issued a warning that hospitality sector would be facing a deficit of 60,000 workers a year if the government goes through with its plan of restricting EU workers drastically.
Estimates of KPMG reveal that 75 percent of waiters and waitresses and 37 percent of housekeeping staff employed in the UK hail from the EU.
Though business houses and labour unions have urged the government time and again to soften its stance on migration, May isn’t showing signs of relenting.
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