The Prime minister Theresa May is under pressure to remove the targets on immigration that have been a key part of recent Tory manifesto's yet consistently missed. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the professional body for the recruitment industry has suggested that the government have only added to the uncertainty around Brexit.
A survey by the professional body has shown that the business community is struggling to hire staff due to skill shortages, and are resorting to short term employment to cover gaps. The worrying trend is set to continue as 87% of the employers surveyed conceded that they were looking to increase their use of temporary staff to continue plugging the growing skills gaps. They insist that there is a palpable concern for EU migrants who aren't sure where they will stand after March 2019. This lack of certainty is likely to also stop people who may have been planning to come in the intervening period.
Experts are warning the government that the lack of a clear strategy is adding to uncertainty. With the current crisis, pro-remain MP's are pushing for a soft-Brexit option, with freedom of movement of a key part of the plan. The freedom of movement issue is a key part of the Brexit campaign as it was during the referendum campaign. Many are pushing for the public to get the choice of which type of exit is wanted. Though the idea of a second referendum is a long way out of view.
The government insists that there is indeed a plan in place, but that they intend to keep their cards close to their chest in order to hold some cards in the negotiation process. Though many pour scorn on this idea and insist that the government does not actually have a plan in place and that they are trying to fudge their way through the process. The lack of evidence based decision making is also a cause for concern for the REC. The REC’s “jobs outlook” report said that engineering, construction and education sectors could face vacancy problems in September or October.
The government are also coming under pressure from pressure group Open Britain. The group is pushing for the soft-Brexit option and is pushing the government to drop the migration targets. They have joined together with British newspaper The Independent to help put the pressure on. They have opened a petition for the public to add their names to support the campaign.
So far the government has ignored all attempts to soften its position on migration. Even in the face of a significant loss of its majority, the government seems more intent than ever to push ahead with its migration target, even though it has been missed in the last two elections.