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Coalition warned on immigration plans

Visa applicationRadical changes to the UK’s immigration policy are a ‘kneejerk’ reaction to the economic crisis warns leading economist Michael Kitson

As the Government prepares to announce an overhaul of the UK’s immigration policies, a leading economist has warned that raising controls now may adversely affect the country’s economic recovery.

Cambridge Judge Business School’s Michael Kitson, Senior Lecturer in International Macroeconomics, feels that changing the immigration policy is a ‘kneejerk’ reaction to the economic crisis.

“We need to take a longer view here. The long-term concern is where economic growth is going to come from in the future, particularly in the UK. We have a very small manufacturing sector and we cannot rely on financial services in the future.”

Asked where he believes economic growth will come from, he suggests it must come from innovation and innovation within new sectors of the economy such as high technology manufacturing, through new services, or creative industries.

“We need innovation for long-term growth, and innovation requires talented people and talented people come from all around the globe. If you put immigration controls up now you may be affecting innovation and long-term growth in the future.”