Statement by Dom Hallas, Executive Director of The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), on the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee report into European migration:

“The report confirms what the tech startup community already knows – high-skilled immigration is beneficial to productivity and innovation in the UK. Only an open approach to migration can ensure this continues. The test now for the government is to keep the UK attractive to high-skilled workers in a post-Brexit world. For that, we need the removal of unnecessary bureaucracy in the visa system.

We welcome the recommendation for the abolition of the Tier 2 cap, which has always been arbitrary and limiting to fast-growing companies. Removal of the cap will provide more certainty to both employers and potential hires, and present the UK as many in government insist they want to – a country with a welcoming and skills-oriented immigration policy.

We have long argued that the visa process for bringing in high-skilled workers should be made less burdensome. Speed is of the essence for startups. If free movement for Europeans does end, it is even more crucial that the visa process is simplified.

We welcome the recommendation for the abolition of the Resident Labour Market Test, which has imposed an often-prohibitive time burden on startups looking to recruit and grow quickly. With new technologies and by removing policies from the era of the ‘hostile environment’ – we believe the visa application time can be at least halved going forward. Failure to do so will result in highly productive and innovative startups struggling to achieve their potential in a closed economy.”