Breakfast Briefings

What is migration policy for?

Breakfast Briefings / Friday 2 September 2011

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David Cameron, speaking in April, said that "immigration is a hugely emotive subject . . . and it's a debate too often in the past shaped by assertions rather than substantive arguments... [We need] to cut through the extremes of this debate and approach the subject sensibly and reasonably."

The first in COMPAS's 2011/12 Breakfast Briefing series suggests how we might do this. It explores the following questions: What are the pressures and constraints that have shaped this rapidly shifting policy terrain? How can we assess the trade-offs involved in our policy options? What could be the foundation for a less polarised, better-informed public debate? Do we need to start by seeking consensus on a fundamental question about migration policy that is rarely discussed: what exactly is it that we are trying to achieve?

Speaker: Sarah Spencer, author of The Migration Debate, a critical analysis of UK migration policy, published by The Policy Press on 29 June 2011