IPPR proposes emergency brake on free movement as it sets Brexit options for Theresa May
IPPR yesterday (Wednesday) published two papers laying out the options on the economy and migration that Theresa May will now have to grapple with.
Questions on freedom of movement and access to the single market also need to be settled for Labour, the SNP and Lib Dems if they are to provide a credible opposition.
Theresa May has said “there is clearly no mandate for a deal that involves accepting the free movement of people as it has worked hitherto”; meaning that the EU will almost certainly want to restrict the UK’s access to the single market in some way.
On that basis, IPPR argues that of the options available, Theresa May should argue for an emergency brake on migration, triggered whenever EU migration is harming wages in particular occupations, sectors or regions of the UK and, if triggered, would temporarily restrict the number of EU migrants allowed to work in the occupation, sector or community affected.
The most acceptable trade-off for this would be the UK’s membership of the customs union and the single market membership fee.
Tom Kibasi, IPPR Director, said:
“The biggest challenge for Theresa May is correctly judging the right balance between migration policy and access to the single market.
“At IPPR, we think that the best answer is to negotiate a new different emergency brake on free movement, triggered whenever EU migration is harming wages in particular occupations, sectors or regions of the UK and, if triggered, would temporarily restrict the number of EU migrants allowed to work in the occupation, sector or community affected.
“On the single market, it is reasonable to assume that any change to migration policy means changing our access to the single market.
“The first thing to give up is our membership of the customs union. This would not entail giving up free trade with the EU: it would simply mean that we were no longer bound by the trade agreements that the EU has signed between itself and the rest of the world.
“The second price to pay for control over migration should be the fee that we pay into the EU. At IPPR, we believe the politics of the referendum around the fee should not constrain May from making a rational economic choice. In our judgement, it is better to pay a higher fee than to sacrifice access to the single market in tradable goods or in services, which will come at much greater long-term cost.”
The two IPPR reports set out:
On the economy:
We assess the pros and cons of six options for access to the single market, based on the EU’s relationships with a selection of other trading partners, including Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Brazil. The elements of economic integration we consider include free trade for goods and services, membership of a customs union, and adherence to EU laws relating to our tradeable activity.
Again, we assess the pros and cons for six options, this time on different levels of freedom of movement: visa restrictions, labour market restrictions, partial labour market restrictions, an emergency brake, and freedom of movement for workers compared to the current status quo of full freedom of movement.
Notes to Editors:
1. The papers are available at: ippr.org/publications/a-progressive-brexit/ and ippr.org.uk/publications/where-next-for-free-movement/
2. Summary of economic options:
3. Summary of options on migration policy:
Latest News from
IEA - The Shadow Chancellor’s policy agenda was disappointing and predictable28/09/2022 11:25:00
Matthew Lesh, head of public policy at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs comments on Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves’ speech at the Labour Party’s annual conference
IEA comments ahead of Friday’s mini budget: “an opportunity to reset the agenda”22/09/2022 09:20:00
Matthew Lesh, Head of Public Policy at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs comments ahead of this Friday’s fiscal event
IEA expert responds to Energy Bill Relief Scheme for businesses21/09/2022 16:20:00
Andy Mayer, Chief Operating Officer and energy analyst at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs comments on the announcement of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme
UK business investment fell to lowest rate in the G7 after corporation tax cut to 19 per cent, IPPR finds21/09/2022 11:15:00
The UK had the lowest rate of business investment of any G7 economy in 2019, according to new analysis by IPPR of OECD figures, despite also having the lowest corporation tax rate for the previous two decades. The tax on companies’ profits was reduced to 19 per cent, its lowest level this century, in 2017.
Dip in inflation shouldn’t let the Bank of England off the hook, says IEA expert14/09/2022 14:05:00
Julian Jessop, economics fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the latest ONS inflation figures
IPPR responds to inflation figures14/09/2022 13:05:00
Dr George Dibb, head of the Centre for Economic Justice at IPPR, responded to the ONS August CPI figures
IEA - Review into ‘junk food’ regulation welcome step in rolling back nanny state14/09/2022 12:15:00
Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the government’s announcement of a review into junk food regulations
IEA - Labour market figures show more of the same, but worrying trends emerge13/09/2022 12:15:00
Professor Len Shackleton, editorial and research fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs Comments on the ONS labour market data