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Vince Cable writes to May asking her to publish evidence on migration impact

2 min read

Vince Cable has written to Theresa May asking her to publish evidence about immigration he claims she suppressed when she was Home Secretary.

Earlier this week the Lib Dem leader, who was a Cabinet colleague of Mrs May during the coalition years, said Mrs May had held back nine separate reports on the impact of immigration because the findings were “inconvenient”.

The Tories’ plans for post-Brexit immigration also came under the spotlight with the leaking of an 82-page document proposing a tough new set of rules for low-skilled EU migrants.

It included a plan to limit low-skilled workers to a maximum of two years in the UK – a plan which has drawn consternation from employers reliant on migrant labour.

Writing in the Guardian today, Dr Cable says the Government’s approach is based on an “obsession” with meeting the net migration target of 100,000 per year.

And he points to a number of studies he ordered as Business Secretary which he claims undercut the Conservatives’ claims that migration fuels low wages for British workers.

“When the coalition embarked on its review of EU competences in 2013, I commissioned a range of reviews and studies to establish the facts. They showed that the impact on wages was very small (and only in recession conditions),” he argues.

“By and large, immigrants were doing jobs that British people didn’t want to do (or highly skilled jobs that helped to generate work for others).

“This research was inconvenient to the Home Office, which vetoed the publication of its results. I have now written to the prime minister to ask her to publish them as part of the current public debate.”

He also points to a report from the All-party parliamentary group on Migration which highlighted how unwilling British workers often were to take up repetitive, manual jobs.

“One evidence-giver recalled that they recently hired 53 individuals, of whom 11 were UK nationals and 42 EEA nationals.

“Of the 11 UK nationals, eight left on their first day, saying the work was not for them, as it was too repetitive and the environment was too cold. All 42 EEA migrants were still there at the time of the report’s publication. Stories such as this are repeated up and down the country.”

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