The UK government has commissioned a group of top economists to investigate the financial benefits of migration from the EU, it was announced on Thursday 27 July.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), chaired by Professor Alan Manning, to make a "detailed assessment" of the issue as the two-year-long Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU continue.

The MAC last reported to the government in January with a "partial review" of teacher shortages in the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to cut net migration to the UK to "tens of thousands" and plans to split from the EU's single-market and customs union.

"Put simply, the UK must remain a hub for international talent. We must keep attracting the brightest and best migrants from around the world," Rudd told The Financial Times.

"I want to reassure all those who have outlined their views ... that the Government is listening and that we share their desire to continue to welcome those who help make the UK such a prosperous place to live."

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott welcomed the government's commissioning of the report.

"There is far too much heat and not enough light about immigration, so any truly objective and well-informed analysis must be welcome," the senior Labour MP said.

"We already know that immigrants, both EU and non-EU, make a huge contribution to the economy and to wider society. They occupy both high-skilled, high-wage jobs and lower-skilled, lower paid ones, adding value across a wide range of economic sectors.

"They help make the UK more internationally competitive, and sectors with staff shortages, such as the NHS, social care and agriculture, would be in serious difficulty without them.

"The report should be published. There must be no repeat of the buried Home Office reports into international students, or the Saudi funding of terrorism.

"And there should be no attempt to reform the immigration system until the report has been published and debated."

The UK and the EU have so far failed to find a compromise over the future of the more than three million EU nationals in the UK and the more than one million Britons on the continent.

Brussels wants the European Court of Justice's jurisdiction to continue over the UK after Brexit, something which May and her ministers oppose.

Net migration of EU nationals to the UK hit 117,000 in 2016, up 31,000 from 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).