Here’s an excellent must-read article from the Guardian. It reports that Home Office paper sets out detailed proposals including measures to drive down number of low-skilled migrants from Europe.
Here are my immediate observations.
Firstly, this comes across as a very hard Brexit, so there will be clear costs and consequences both in the EU and in parliament, where many still favour a softer Brexit.
Secondly, the UK will face a backlash from businesses, who will struggle with less skilled and less motivated resident workers. This will certainly curtail growth and probably encourage businesses to relocate overseas, where there will be greater labour mobility. Also competition for the limited, resident, skilled labour will drive up labour rates, triggering cost-push inflation and making the UK less competitive in international markets.
Thirdly, it’s not clear how existing EU residents in the UK will be treated (and, of course, UK nationals resident in the EU).
Fourthly, the blatantly ‘Britain First’ policy may well encourage xenophobia.