Download Managing migration better for Britain - Report (PDF)
What the government should be doing now
The EU referendum campaign gave a voice to communities who feel abandoned by globalisation, deindustrialisation and the pace of change. In many of those communities – often, but not always, outside London and the south-east – good, skilled, unionised jobs that pay enough to raise a family have been lost. Deindustrialisation and the hollowing out of local labour markets has been decades in the making, and has only got worse since the financial crash in 2008. The average wage is still £20 per week lower than it was before the crisis.
We need clear practical policies to reduce the impact of migration on communities that feel left behind – including actions that build solidarity and community cohesion. The increase in racist attacks and incidents since the referendum - which suggest that a minority consider that widespread concerns about migration legitimise racism - does mean that policies to manage migration have to be accompanied by action against racism.
This report presents a set of initial ideas that could guide the new government towards a more honest relationship with the British people with respect to immigration. In addition to the proposals put forward here, the government needs urgently to bring forward proposals to return economic prosperity and good jobs to all communities of the UK and also to tackle racial harassment and attacks. Where those policies directly impact on migration, we also refer to them here, but other TUC reports cover these issues separately.
These are steps that the government could take immediately – they do not need to wait until we have left the EU, nor established a new relationship with the rest of the EU or the world. They are vitally important and urgent, and unions are ready to play our part.
Issued: 4 August, 2016