A coalition of British industry groups and education bodies, worried by the prospect of Brexit worsening skills and labour shortages, has called for the next prime minister to relax proposed reforms of the immigration system.
The #FullStrength campaign said on Wednesday it had written to both Boris Johnson, frontrunner to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister, and his rival, foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, calling for the government they would lead to lower the salary threshold proposed in draft immigration legislation from 30,000 pounds to 20,000.
In December, Britain set out in a policy paper the biggest overhaul of its immigration policy in decades, ending special treatment for European Union nationals.
Concern about the social and economic impact of immigration helped drive Britain’s 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.
#FullStrength brings together bodies including London First, techUK, the British Retail Consortium, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, UKHospitality, the Federation of Master Builders and Universities UK. Collectively they represent tens of thousands of businesses and employ millions of workers across all sectors and regions of Britain.
Their joint letter said more than 60% of all jobs in the UK currently fall under the proposed 30,000-pound salary threshold, highlighting the risk in setting the future level too high for vital services such as health and social care.