Pressure group announces plans for new UK immigration system

A British immigration pressure group has announced its plans for a new UK immigration system post Brexit.

The plans would see the number of so-called ‘low-skill’ workers allowed to come and live in the UK reduced dramatically.

According to a new report from Migration Watch UK, visitors, businesspeople and tourists could travel freely to and from Britain without any visa or permit, provided they had a passport, but those looking to move permanently to the country would face a much tougher time.

While Migration Watch’s plans would allow an unlimited number of workers deemed to be ‘highly skilled’ to move to the UK, any others would be barred from assuming permanent residency.

Even workers in trades like plumbing and bricklaying – deemed intermediate skills by the pressure group – would only be allowed to enter the UK on short-term work permits lasting two to three years. There would be no direct route to settlement, although strict provisions would exist for self-employed workers.

Seasonal employees from overseas would also be welcomed to help out certain agricultural industries, although again this would only be on short-term agreements.

Rules for overseas staff transferring to a company’s UK branch, as well as those in occupations with a shortage of workers, would mirror the system currently in place for non-EU migrants.

Alp Mehmet, vice chairman of Migration Watch UK, said the capping scheme would reduce immigration by about 100,000 a year.

“It would also slow the current rapid population increase and, in the medium-term, help ease pressure on our infrastructure, hospitals, schools and housing,” explained Mehmet. “While the negotiations are moving at a snail’s pace, the UK can and must remain open to the best talent from Europe. Visitors and students will of course be as welcome as they always have been,” he added.

Article published 25th October 2017