The UK risks taking back control of its border from EU bureaucrats just to hand it to Whitehall officials ready to enforce the same rules in a similar manner, warned Louis Williams, a former macroeconomist at Credit Suisse.
Mr Williams argues that replacing “the current system of bureaucratic visas with a market-based immigration system” would grant more freedom to companies in need of a skilled or unskilled type of worker.
Employers would no longer be subjected to a screening from Whitehall asking why they need a worker but just to the laws of market, according to the macroeconomist.
Mr Williams said: “What if, instead of demanding that firms prove through paperwork and legal battles they needed a worker, they bought the right to employ a foreign worker from the government?
“The Government could charge these companies, say, £5,000 a year for every worker they sponsored from outside of the UK.
“This would raise revenue for UK public services and ensure that every migrant was a net contributor to the UK.”
But the new system, which has never been put in practice, could lead to a number of problems.
Despite welcoming the theory macroeconomist Sir Patrick Minford, chair of the Economists for Free Trade group, warned the system could lead to a shortage of workers.
Comparing the worker market to the heavily regulated car market in Singapore, Sir Patrick told Express.co.uk: “As they know exactly how many vehicles are needed on the road, they can open auctions selling cars only when there is a shortage.”
Arguing that this immigration system would be based on a very similar structure, he added: “It is very difficult to know which is the right level of immigration.
“How many of each type of immigrants does the country need?
“It is very difficult to forecast.”
Sir Patrick said Government officials already found an effective measure to curb the number of EU immigrants, especially the unskilled ones.
He said: “Giving the same rights to EU and non-EU workers means cutting the rights of EU ones to receive state benefits immediately after their arrival.
“Following this, the labour market could react to the lack of subsidy and bring more investments of UK-based unskilled workers.”
(News Source: Express.co.uk)