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Should the UK Cap Immigration Numbers? IEA Podcast

On this episode of the IEA Podcast, host Matthew Lesh is joined by Professor Jonathan Portes of King's College London to discuss the hot button issue of immigration policy in the UK. As political parties announce restrictive immigration plans ahead of elections, the question is asked: Should immigration be capped?

Professor Portes, an expert on labor markets and immigration, provides his analysis on the recent spike in immigration numbers and the factors driving it, including pent-up demand from the pandemic, refugee flows, and the new post-Brexit immigration system. He argues that fixating on numbers misses the point - the system should be designed to bring in workers that benefit the economy long-term.

The wide-ranging discussion covers concerns around immigrant impacts on public services, housing, productivity and social cohesion. Portes pushes back on many of the common anti-immigration arguments, while acknowledging some of the trade-offs involved, especially around housing supply constraints. It's a nuanced dive into one of the most polarising issues in British politics.

IEA Podcast
The Institute of Economic Affairs podcast examines some of the pressing issues of our time. Featuring some of the top minds in Westminster and beyond, the IEA podcast brings you weekly commentary, analysis, and debates.