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Release EU immigration reports - Vince Cable

September 8, 2017 9:02 AM
By extract from The Guardian

Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, has written to the prime minister calling on her to publish evidence on the impact of EU migration that he claims the Home Office has suppressed.

After the Guardian published leaked proposals for post-Brexit immigration policy, May repeated her insistence that unfettered immigration was harmful to low-paid workers.

"We continue to believe as a government that it's important to have net migration at sustainable levels - we believe that to be the tens of thousands - because of the impact particularly it has on people at the lower end of the income scale in depressing their wages," she said at prime minister's questions.

But Vince Cable claims that when May was home secretary, she prevented the publication of a series of reports on the issue, which should now be released.

In a letter sent to May he said: "As you will recall, there were reviews, studies and reports into whether the assumption that immigration suppressed UK wages was supported by the evidence. These were shared with the Home Office. They largely showed that this assumption was misplaced, and that EU migration was beneficial to the UK economy and labour market, but the information was never published.

"Parliament will soon consider a fundamental reshaping of the immigration system. In that light, I hope you will agree that it is in the national interest now to release these reports in full."

He urged the prime minister to ensure that the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) would be given the freedom to produce its own evidence of the impact of foreign workers on the UK economy. "Doubtless colleagues will want to know that the MAC is able to publish at its own discretion and to its own timetable."