Economist: Theresa May’s plan to reduce net migration could damage UK’s economy

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A leading economist has warned that Prime Minister Theresa May’s planned immigration cut could damage the UK’s economy.

Prime Minister Theresa May

Ken Rogoff, a Harvard economist who was previously chief economist at the International Monetary Fund said the cut would cause “a marked drop in productivity”, reported.

Ms May pledged to reduce net migration to the UK to the tens of thousands within five years. She however failed to meet that target for the six years that she headed the Home Office.

Mr Rogoff, who is one of the world’s leading economists, warned that Ms May’s plans to drastically slash immigration could not only cause a fall in the UK’s national income but also damage the economy.

There are “limits to how much you can slam the brakes on immigration and get decent productivity and growth,” Mr Rogoff said.

He added: “Immigration has fuelled UK growth, make no mistake about it, and if you slam the brakes and restrict it to family reunification you’re going to see a marked drop in productivity.”

As Brits go to polls today, Mr Rogoff said that regardless of the winner, the new government is most likely to increase taxes to pay for rising deficits and to address the gap between rich and poor.

Prof Rogoff said: “Every country has a right to govern its immigration and there’s a balance – immigration helps businesses a lot, it helps the immigrants a lot but it doesn’t necessarily help everyone, and you need to have other policies to balance that.

“And if you don’t it’s not surprising there’s a lot of popular dissatisfaction.

“So I think all the parties are trying to move towards a different balance on things.”

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