Liam Booth-Smith, of think-tank Localis, called for power over immigration levels to be decentralised to towns and cities in England after the UK leaves the EU.
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Booth-Smith argued employers and landlords already had power at a local area to check immigration statuses and ‘strategic authorities’ could be set up to look at the wider picture and grow local areas.
He said: “The immigration system currently… there are a number of checks and balances, which are being pushed down towards people at a local level as it stands.
“You have, for example, employers, who have responsibility placed on them to check the immigration status of someone who is working for them.
Liam Booth-Smith has called for towns and cities to have control over immigration levels
Having a bit more local control and discretion over that wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world
“Similarly with landlords, you have a responsibility placed on them to check the immigration status of somebody that is trying to rent a property.
"We already are in once sense devolving some of the responsibilities around this. We think actually it would be quite sensible in one sense to allow local areas to, maybe not necessarily with the local authority but some sort of strategic authority, to have a little bit more influence and control over the proportion of migration in their area.”
Mr Booth-Smith described the Isle of Wight, Blackpool and Tendring in Essex as “stuck” areas that could benefit from the move, particularly those which had “very, very low proportions of young people resident in their area.
The think tank’s new report ‘The Making of an Industrial Strategy: Taking back control locally’ found a correlation between the number of 25 to 34-year-olds in an area and its levels of productivity. Mr Booth-Smith said local areas should be able to attract the right talent for them.
“There are only a finite number of homegrown 25 to 34 year olds so one of the ways we in the past have actually managed to counter the balance of an ageing population is by bringing in young, healthy, fit people from abroad,” he said.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
“We think that actually having a bit more local control and discretion over that wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world."
He added a variation of the “radical” policy was already working in other parts of the world including Australia and Canada.
Brexit: Results of how the UK voted Mon, March 20, 2017
Much of the North East of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union including Sunderland, Gateshead, Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, and Northumberland
Getty Images 1 of 8
GREAT YARMOUTH: The town of Great Yarmouth on the East Coast of England voted by 72% to leave the European Union.
Meanwhile, a new study last month claimed mass EU migration has been an “economic catastrophe” for the UK, costing it £30billion a year.
The paper – How the £30 billion cost of EU migration Imperils Pensions & Benefits – by the thinktank Global Britain revealed cheap labour flooding in from the continent was causing "an economic catastrophe" for the UK which threatens the pension system.
The report also suggested that leaving the European Union and taking back control of British borders would provide the UK with “a £250 billion opportunity” in the next five years.