‘Give us CONTROL!’ Call for UK cities to get their OWN powers over immigration post-Brexit

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
By Paul Martin

A think-tank chief has called for regions to get their own control over immigration as a way of boosting the nation’s economy post-Brexit.

Wed, Mar 22, 2017

Liam Booth-Smith, of think-tank Localis, called for power over immigration levels to be decentralised to towns and cities in England after the UK leaves the EU.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Booth-Smith argued employers and landlords already had power at a local area to check immigration statuses and ‘strategic authorities’ could be set up to look at the wider picture and grow local areas.

He said: “The immigration system currently… there are a number of checks and balances, which are being pushed down towards people at a local level as it stands.

“You have, for example, employers, who have responsibility placed on them to check the immigration status of someone who is working for them.

“Similarly with landlords, you have a responsibility placed on them to check the immigration status of somebody that is trying to rent a property.

“We already are in once sense devolving some of the responsibilities around this. We think actually it would be quite sensible in one sense to allow local areas to, maybe not necessarily with the local authority but some sort of strategic authority, to have a little bit more influence and control over the proportion of migration in their area.”

Mr Booth-Smith described the Isle of Wight, Blackpool and Tendring in Essex as “stuck” areas that could benefit from the move, particularly those which had “very, very low proportions of young people resident in their area.

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