UK Home Secretary promises points-based-system is imminent

The UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has used her speech at the Conservative Party Conference to confirm that the UK will move to a points-based immigration system post Brexit.

During the speech, Patel said her mission was to “end the free movement of people once and for all” and introduce a points-based-system reminiscent of the system used in Australia.

Patel said the new system would be: “One that works in the best interests of Britain. One that attracts and welcomes the brightest and the best. One that supports brilliant scientists, the finest academics and leading people in their fields. And one that is under the control of the British Government.”

The system would put an end to the freedom of movement that EU citizens – and indeed British citizens – currently benefit from, and would mean all incoming immigrants would be required to meet certain criteria to settle in the UK, no matter where they are from.

Much like the Australian system, a UK points-based scheme would place emphasis on all applicants having good English language ability, and skills and experience in high-skilled, in-demand occupations.

However, many British businesses, and some immigration experts, remain sceptical of the proposals fearing that stricter rules will make it far harder for them to employ much needed workers, and placing the future of some firms in jeopardy.

“It is legitimate for employers to have some degree of confusion over this because there is a level of confusion for those of us who study these issues as we don’t have sturdy ground ourselves,” Rob McNeil, deputy director at the Migration Observatory, told People Management Magazine. ”We have heard a lot about an Australian-style PBS, but we are several months away from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) review of how a points-based-system will work in the UK.”

Article published 3rd October 2019