The government’s proposals to end freedom of movement will have different consequences for different parts of the UK. This paper explores how the proposals could impact on the economy of Bristol and the wider city region.
Bristol offers an interesting case study, because it is a highly skilled economy with several burgeoning industries, from advanced engineering and aerospace to the digital and creative sectors. But it is also a city with notably stark inequalities of opportunity across place, class, and ethnicity. This has led Bristol to place ‘inclusive growth’ as a key element of its wider economic agenda.
The government is currently undergoing a process of engagement on the immigration white paper, and the Migration Advisory Committee is consulting on the proposed salary threshold and the Australian-style points-based system. In light of these ongoing discussions on the future immigration system, this paper makes a number of recommendations for how the government’s immigration proposals could align with Bristol’s economic ambitions, as well as recommendations for how Bristol City Council could prepare the city for the proposed reforms to the immigration rules.