Issue date
04 Aug 2016

The TUC has today (Thursday) published Managing migration better for Britain: what the government should be doing now, which proposes practical policies to address the concerns expressed by many voters before and during the EU referendum campaign.

Overall, 40% of voters – including 72% of Leave voters – said that immigration was one of the top three issues in deciding how they voted at the referendum. And 66% of voters – and 55% of Leave voters – also agreed that “as long as the system is well managed, immigration can be good for Britain”.

This TUC report sets out an agenda to manage migration better for Britain, by:

  • Increasing the number of people employed in the Border Force and making it responsible for fighting worker exploitation and trafficking.
  • Closing loopholes and properly enforcing laws to stop bad bosses getting away with exploiting migrant workers and undercutting local labour markets.
  • Setting up a big new Migration Impacts Fund to reduce the pressure on local public services – and giving local people a say in how it is spent.
  • Pushing up wages for everyone by expanding collective bargaining and setting up modern wages councils.
  • Making sure everyone gets the chance to learn English.
  • Training local workers to fill skills gaps, rather than importing workers from abroad.

The report sets out what the government can do now, rather than proposing actions for when the UK is outside the EU. It also repeats the TUC’s call for the government to guarantee that EU citizens already living and working in the UK can stay. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“It’s clear that migration needs to be managed better in the interests of Britain. Many people I spoke to during the referendum – including many union members and people who voted both Leave and Remain – were concerned about the pace of change where they live.

“That’s why the TUC is today putting forward a set of practical solutions that the government can put in place immediately. We need fair rules, properly enforced, at the border and at work. We need extra cash for schools, hospitals and public services where they are under pressure. We should stop importing workers to fill skills gaps when we can train local people instead. And we need to give everyone the chance to learn English.

“We also need to get out there and stand up for modern British and trade union values – doing your bit, respect for difference, a profound opposition to racism and extremism. That means giving everyone a chance to mark their pride in where they live, in all its diversity, through inclusive public events, cultural celebrations, big sporting occasions, volunteering and commemoration. And it means standing together against any resurgence in racism or xenophobia.”


  • The full TUC report, Managing migration better for Britain: what the government should be doing now, can be found here:
  • Polling figures quoted above are from a TUC commissioned poll analysing the EU referendum vote. GQRR conducted the online poll of 2,716 respondents in Great Britain. The survey was in the field from 24 to 27 June. The data was weighted to be nationally representative across age, gender, region, ethnicity and social grade. More information can be found at:


Media enquiries: Tim Nichols  T: 020 7467 1388  M: 07808 761844  E: [email protected]