Lancashire business leaders have welcomed plans for a major study into the effects of migration on the UK economy.
The Home Secretary has asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to look into the issue.
The government has commissioned a “detailed assessment” of the costs and benefits of EU migrants.
That report is expected in September 2018, six months before Brexit.
Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We welcome the Home Secretary’s decision to commission rigorous and independent analysis to inform the shape of our future immigration system.
“Business communities across the UK tell us that immigration rules need to be based on an objective look at economic trends and needs, which are better evaluated by the experts on the Migration Advisory Committee than by politicians or commentators.”
She added: “Over the coming years, changes to the UK immigration system should be based on firm evidence, input from employers, and a clear understanding of the different requirements facing each region and nation. While businesses are committed to filling vacancies locally wherever they can, they will still need access to both EU and global candidates with a range of skills in the future. We will work to ensure that the views of business communities all across the UK are heard loud and clear by the Migration Advisory Committee over the coming year.”
Alan Welsh, policy manager at the Chamber of Commerce, added: “Amber Rudd has given EU nationals and their employers some much-needed reassurance, by signalling that any significant changes to the immigration rules for EU citizens will take place in an orderly fashion over time.
“Businesses need clear information to support their existing employees - and to know, right now, who they can hire with confidence over the coming years.
“The Home Secretary has given some important reassurances for EU nationals working in UK businesses.”