GES Newsflash

General Election 2017 manifesto commitments on immigration

19 May 2017

This week the political parties launched their manifestos. We have outlined in this newsflash the specific points relating to immigration policy from Labour, Liberal Democrats, and Conservative manifestos.

Labour Manifesto Commitments

  • Institute a new system which is based on our economic needs, balancing controls and existing entitlements.
  • Employer sponsorship, work permits, visa regulations or a tailored mix of all these which "works for the many, not the few".
  • Crack down on unscrupulous employers.
  • Stop overseas-only recruitment practices, strengthen safety-at-work inspections and increase prosecutions of employers evading the minimum wage.
  • End workplace exploitation.
  • Reinstate the Migrant Impact Fund and boost it with a contributory element from the investments required for High Net Worth Individual Visas.
  • Not include international students in immigration numbers.

Liberal Democrats Manifesto Commitments

  • Ensure that the immigration system "is operated fairly and efficiently", with strict control of borders, including entry and exit checks, and adequately funded Border.
  • Force policing of entry by irregular routes.
  • Hold an annual debate in parliament on skill and labour market shortfalls and surpluses to identify the migration necessary to meet the UK’s needs.
  • Continue to allow high-skilled immigration to support key sectors of our economy, and ensure work, tourist and family visas are "processed quickly and efficiently".
  • Recognising their largely temporary status, remove students from the official migration statistics.
  • Ensure the UK is an attractive destination for overseas students. Reinstate post-study work visas for graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects who find suitable employment within six months of graduating. Give the devolved administrations the right to sponsor additional post-study work visas.

Conservative Manifesto Commitments

  • Increase the earnings threshold for people wishing to sponsor migrants for family visas.
  • Ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the government about how the visa system can become better aligned with our modern industrial strategy.
  • MAC’s advice will envisage setting aside significant numbers of visas for workers in strategically-important sectors, such as digital technology, without adding to net migration as a whole.
  • Toughen the visa requirements for students, to make sure that we maintain high standards.
  • Expect students to leave the country at the end of their course, unless they meet new, higher requirements that allow them to work in Britain after their studies have concluded.
  • Overseas students will remain in the immigration statistics.
  • Establish an immigration policy that "allows us to reduce and control the number of people who come to Britain from the European Union, while still allowing us to attract the skilled workers our economy needs".
  • Increase the Immigration Health Surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students, to cover their use of the NHS.
  • Double the Immigration Skills Charge levied on companies employing migrant workers, to £2,000 a year by the end of the parliament, using the revenue generated to invest in higher level skills training for workers in the UK.
Did you find this useful?