British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to impose new restrictions on low-skilled migrants post-Brexit.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, plans are being drawn up which would see the bring forward its post-Brexit immigration shake-up by two years. This would remove a temporary extension of the current rules until 2023 that had been demanded by business groups.
A Downing Street source told the paper: “As we leave the EU in just over 10 days’ time, we have an unprecedented opportunity to change the way our immigration system works.
“There is a clear drive for talented and skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK, but we also need to see a reduction in the number of unskilled workers and those without a job entering the UK and that’s why this will be coming to an end when the transition period ends in December.”
The newspaper’s report states that Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to present the proposals to the Cabinet this week. It is a move that is likely to anger many business groups in the UK.
The Confederation of British Industry has previously insisted that firms will need “at least two years to adapt to any new immigration system”.
The PM has long pledged to introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system, which would focus on specific skilled workers. During the election campaign, he revealed that the scheme would include preventing low-skilled workers moving to the UK unless there is a “specific shortage” of staff in their sector, such as construction.
Labour have described the move as “ill-informed and reactionary” and warned that changes would wreak havoc with staffing in the NHS and public services, as well as key private sector industries.
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said the changes were “utterly unworkable” and impossible to implement in time.
Article published 20th January 2020