MPs are calling on home secretary Priti Patel to urgently publish an independent assessment of the impact of ending free movement.
The government had committed to publishing documentation around the post-Brexit measures to end the freedom for EU citizens to travel freely to and from the UK at the end of last year.
Home Office minister Baroness Williams of Trafford had said the government would “publish an independent assessment of the impact of ending free movement, which will comprehensively cover the impact on the social care sector, within six months” of the immigration bill being passed.
With the bill receiving Royal Assent on November 11th, the MPs point out the assessment should have been published by May 11th.
Now a cross-party group of MPs, led by the Lib Dems, have written to Patel calling for it to be published “without further delay” and “as a matter of urgency”.
They point out the measures will have “huge shortages in key sectors like construction, agriculture and hospitality.”
The MPs add that the loss of freedom of movement will “make the existing social care crisis even worse”, referring to Skills for Care estimates that claim 87,000 EU citizens are working in care-providing roles in adult social care in England alone.
The £25,600 threshold for “skilled worker” visas will make it “impossible” for many providers to recruit social care staff from overseas.
“The UK’s immigration system is broken, and it is hurting everyone. Employers can’t recruit the workers they need, leaving the NHS short of nurses and social care in crisis,” commented Munira Wilson MP, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care.
“Far from fixing the problem, ending free movement with the EU will only make things worse.
“The Conservatives have ignored warnings that it will lead to huge shortages in key sectors like construction, agriculture and hospitality – which are already facing enormous challenges – and make the existing social care crisis even worse.
“The government made a clear commitment to publish an independent assessment of the impact of their changes, and it is unacceptable that they have blown past the deadline without a word.
“The home secretary must publish the report without any more delay – even if it makes uncomfortable reading for her. Only if we have all the facts can we begin to repair the damage caused by the Conservatives’ immigration policies.”