What does a Left-wing migration policy look like?

A new report by the TUC has answers that help migrants and workers


Nearly three quarters of people who voted to leave the EU said migration was one of their top three concerns, in a TUC poll taken days after the referendum.

85 per cent said that it’s essential to reduce the number of migrants coming to Britain. 44 per cent of Remain voters also wanted immigration reduced.

However, two thirds of voters agreed with the statement that ‘as long as the system is well managed, immigration can be good for Britain’, including a majority of Leave voters.

A TUC report published today, Managing migration better for Britain, looks at what the government could do now – before we leave the EU – to manage migration better and win more public support.

Some of these measures are policies the TUC has called for repeatedly. We hope politicians are now listening.

The idea of restoring the Migration Impact Fund is now widely shared. But our concern is that the fund should be considerably larger than it was under Gordon Brown, and should give local people a say over the funding of local services, like schools, hospitals and GP surgeries. It should also pay for the extra housing needs of a growing population.

We want to make sure that the economic benefits of migration that politicians and economists talk about actually filter through to the people who need better services and more homes.

We also want to press the case for an economy that prevents both exploitation of migrants and undercutting of the existing workforce.

Bad bosses will use any opportunity to divide working people if they can make a fast buck out of it. That’s what’s behind the lower rate for young people of the so-called National Living Wage, and it’s what they tried when women entered the labour force in greater numbers.

The appropriate response is to ensure equal pay for people doing the same job in the same place, closing the loopholes that allow exploitation and undercutting, and toughening up the enforcement of such rules.

Restoring collective bargaining where unions can recruit, and introducing modern wages councils where that doesn’t happen also have a part to play.

The TUC is also advocating a bigger Border Force, with a remit to prevent trafficking and exploitation, to take the strain of enforcing migration laws off employers, landlords, education and health professionals.

As the Byron Burgers experience shows, turning private people into part of the Border Force leads to all sorts of abuses, as well as giving people roles they are uncomfortable with and unprepared for.

There are a lot of proposals in the paper which would help manage migration better, for migrants as well as the local population.

One that is more urgent than most is to guarantee that people from other EU countries who have been living and working in the UK should be allowed to stay. Immediately after the referendum, our polling showed that 64 per cent of voters wanted to recognise their commitment to the UK, and only 28 per cent of Leave voters disagreed.

Making the migration system work better would not only improve people’s working lives and communities, it would rebuild trust. Three quarters of Leave voters felt that the Remain campaign dismissed legitimate concerns about immigration, but so too did nearly a third of Remain voters.

Engaging with the TUC’s proposals for managing migration would be an important way for politicians to demonstrate that they get it, and are taking people’s views seriously.

That’s more urgent than deciding what our relationship with the EU should be after Brexit: we’ve got to start bringing people together.

Owen Tudor is head of European Union and International Relations for the TUC

See: Minimum wage denied to workers who support the elderly and vulnerable

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8 Responses to “What does a Left-wing migration policy look like?”

  1. CR

    Put the jobs of ordinary British workers first and the policy will follow.

  2. Ben Robin

    All sensible ideas. However, left also needs to articulate some response to cultural questions related to immigration, cannot leave that entire arena to the right. Some statement to the effect that having no upper limit on the scale and pace of immigration, even in theory, is not a sensible component of a well managed immigration system, would probably also help in shaping a more effective progressive discourse on immigration.

  3. NHSGP

    How does a migrant on minimum wage pay more into the system than they take out?

    They don’t. Brits on min wage don’t, migrants on min wage do not either. Hence we have redistribution.

    So when you pull in economic migrants on min wage someone else has to pay. That’s austerity for others when you tax. Austerity for the young if you borrow and force them to pay. Austerity when services are salami sliced thinner.

    In other words a lot of pain. Simple solution, don’t do it.

    Put in place a simple policy. Economic migrants have to pay a minimum amount of tax, or implement a migrant minimum wage set at that level.

    Then change the rules. So long as you met that criteria you can come and stay irrespective of gender, sexual preference, religion, nationality, …. Unlike the current system

    Students, Asylum, marriage are different issues and need a different solution.

  4. Milie Parkinn

    What are the Left-wing migration policy and what it does?

    Left-wing migration policy helps the immigrants in the UK and Britain workers who are currently unemployed in Britain.

    BREXIT likely voters said migration into the UK was one of their top concerns, after the poll of Brexit referendum. They said that it’s essential for them to reduce the number of migrants coming to Britain.

    It`s urgent that guarantee the people from other EU countries who working in the UK should be allowed to stay permanently.

    Let share Brexit may effect at UK immigration here@

  5. NHSGP

    It`s urgent that guarantee the people from other EU countries who working in the UK should be allowed to stay permanently.



    The problem is that you want the migrant to have the choice.

    You don’t want other migrants and Brits to have any choice about having to fund them, make up the shortfall, suffer reduced services because of that low paid migrant’s consumption of state goods and services.

Comments are closed.