The Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has once again warned the Prime Minister on the perils of ending free movement.
Carolyn Fairbairn spoke at the CBI’s Annual Conference to air those concerns on a day when Theresa May spoke to business representatives far and wide to try and sell her vision of Brexit.
The draft Withdrawal Agreement has been agreed in principle with the EU; however, closer to home, it is clear that many hurdles still stand between the Prime Minister’s document being accepted in time for 29 March 2019.
Although the Cabinet agreed the deal, it triggered a number of resignations and talk of a no-confidence vote on the Prime Minister – though that has yet to materialise.
Whilst Conservative MPs have criticised the draft Withdrawal Agreement because they believe it still ties Britain to the EU in a customs arrangement, businesses are more concerned about the new immigration policy.
The Director-General of the CBI said that what has been proposed so far will not work.
Ms Fairbairn added: “The idea that anyone earning less than £30,000 can’t contribute to our economy, for instance.
“Together, we could do so much better – through a jointly-developed immigration policy, one that avoids false choices, that does away with arbitrary targets, and focuses instead on the people we need to build our economy.”
Following Mrs May’s speech to the CBI Annual Conference, the Confederation’s Director-General reiterated her warning that businesses were being denied access to “vital skills.”
Ms Fairbairn said: “Government may be listening to business when it comes to immigration, but they still aren’t hearing.
“A false choice between high and low skilled workers would deny businesses, from house builders to healthcare providers, the vital skills they need to succeed.
“The best way to build public confidence is through a migration system based on contribution, not numbers.”