Unsurprisingly, the government has been struggling somewhat with how to implement its policy of imposing an immigration cap on non-EU immigrants. Fortunately, in The Challenge of Immigration, a new paper published by the IEA today, Nobel prize winning economist Professor Gary Becker comes up with a radical, but simple solution. Once you’ve decided how many “visas” or “permits” you’re going to issue, sell them.
There are all sorts of arguments about whether imposing a cap is the right idea and how problematic (or beneficial) it is that the EU has internally open labour markets. But, for now, cast those arguments aside. If you’ve settled on a policy of imposing a ceiling on immigration, ask yourself how you’re going to decide who gets the green light and who gets blocked.
You have two basic choices. You either go down the bureaucratic route or down the market-orientated route. Sadly, Theresa May has headed down the former path. Government officials will continue to wade through millions of pieces of paper attempting to judge who has the skills and expertise to meet the nation’s overall needs. They will have certain rules to guide them, of course. So, because of special exemptions, if your abilities lie in playing football, you will effectively be treated as more desirable than someone who’s a wizard at engineering.
Read the rest of the article on the ConservativeHome website.