Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 14th February 2019.

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Jurga McCluskey:

EU inflows accounted for close to 49% of total non-British inflows to the UK in 2016. I realise these are old numbers, but they are the most recent ones I could get hold of. In the first quarter of 2017, approximately 2.4 million EU-born people were employed in the UK. Stuart McDonald asked in a previous sitting how many Europeans are working here in the UK. I do not think we can say how many are working, but I can honestly say I do not know of a company here that does not employ European workers.

Statistically, around 69% of EU nationals who come here do so to work, very closely followed by other requirements, such as study and so on. For me, and I think for business, it is really important that we facilitate the replacement of freedom of movement with a sophisticated system that is simple and flexible enough to allow us to accommodate that influx of people—adding to the overall management of the population in terms of immigration—but that also allows flexibility. Immigration rules and immigration laws need to be flexible, because we are adapting to a very fast-changing environment.