Sarah Spencer, COMPAS, Oxford University, gives a talk for the COMPAS Breakfast Briefing series.
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?