Two seniour UK businessmen oppose immigration restrictions

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Two of the most prominent UK businessmen have proposed that the government should relax the immigration rules so that more qualified individuals can come to Britain. Lance Batchelor, who is a chief executive of Domino’s Pizza, said that workers should be allowed to come to work in the UK from beyond the European Economic Area. The reason for this is that his company cannot recruit enough chefs as fast as it is needed.

On Sunday 8th December 2013, Sir Stuart Rose, formerly the chairman of the iconic British retailer Marks & Spencer and now the chairman of retail delivery firm Ocado, told Sky News that the UK should welcome workers from Romania and Bulgaria. Currently, citizens of 25 out of the 27 countries in the European Union can freely work and live in Britain. After 1 January 2014 when the transitional rules for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens expire, they will also be able to search for jobs in the United Kingdom.

The fear of a new immigration wave has prompted the UK government to try to promise reduction of the net immigration number from hundreds of thousands per year to tens of thousands per year. So far however it has failed to achieve the target. The statistics show that the net immigration up until June 2013 has risen with 15 000 and has reached 185 000 people. Most of the immigrants come from other EU countries.

The UK government is currently lobbying other EU countries to try to limit the number of workers allowed to live and work in the UK. Some critics, however, think that the thesis that the influx of foreign immigrants leads to lower wages is wrong. While they increase the labour supply, they also create more demand for products and service which leads to new job places.

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