Five of the UK's largest business groups have joined 30 trade associations in an open letter to UK home secretary Priti Patel stating they would help outline Britain's new immigration centre.
The group, consisting of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), Commercial Business Institute (CBI), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Institute of Directors (IOD) and Manufacturer's Organisation MakeUK, made the announcement on Friday.
— CIPD (@CIPD) January 24, 2020
According to the letter, all parties welcomed government plans to reduce the £30k salary threshold as well as scrap net migration targets, stating that such measures had signalled that the UK was "open for business".
The letter added that businesses understood that the "immigration system must change in order to [rebuild] public confidence".
It read: "Insight from enterprise can help build a points-based model that provides greater control, whilst providing access to the labour and skills needed to support the economy. And this can go hand in hand with a continued determination to invest in training home grown talent.
What Are The Main Priorities?
The letter proposes a minimum salary threshold, but only at levels that "supports the economy and protects wages", in addition to a "flexible" points-based system.
— Migration Watch UK - The voice of 30 million (@MigrationWatch) January 24, 2020
"All sectors of the economy" should be supported by temporary visa schemes, and a "radically reformed sponsorship process" should be implemented in the "first day of operation", the group recommened.
The British economy needs a "simple, streamlined and affordable [immigration] system" meeting the needs of businesses across the UK, the letter added.
It concluded: “We look forward to working with the new government to inform the detailed design of a new immigration system in a way that commands public confidence and supports the UK’s global ambitions.
The letter comes after UK prime minister Boris Johnson proposed his plans to change the UK's migration system by replacing the European Economic Area (EEA) freedom of movement rules with a "points based" system similar to Canada or Australia. The plan aims to block low-skilled migrants from working in the UK, despite dropping plans for a pay threshold of £30k for incoming workers, and expects to implement the changes at the end of the Brexit transitional period, or 31 December this year.
The UK will officially start proceedings to leave the European Union after 31 January, with EU president Ursula Von Der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel signing Britain's Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Friday. The developments come after political wrangling between Britain's Commons and House of Lords over the Brexit legislation, which finally gained royal ascent on Thursday.
London will have an 11-month transition period following its departure from the bloc to negotiate trade arrangements with Brussels and outline a comprehensive post-Brexit strategy.