Immigration to focus on skills after Brexit
London: A skills-based immigration system will be introduced in the UK to “get control over our borders” when free movement from the EU ends, Home Secretary Sajid Javid is set to announce.
It was expected to focus on people’s “talent and expertise… rather than where they come from”. The terms of it would be made public when the White Paper is published on Wednesday, the BBC said.
“We are delivering on the clear instruction to get control over our borders and will bring in a new system that works in the interest of the British people,” the paper says.
“It will be a single, skills-based immigration system built around the talent and expertise people can bring, rather than where they come from – maximising the benefits of immigration and demonstrating the UK is open for business.”
The system — to be phased-in from 2021 — would scrap the cap on high-skilled workers like doctors and engineers.
A dispute between ministers over a proposed 30,000 pound minimum salary for being granted a visa has resulted in a compromise.
The White Paper will introduce a new visa route for skilled migrants from Europe and beyond. It accepts a recommendation from the independent Migration Advisory Committee to scrap the current limit of 20,700 on workers classed as high-skilled coming to the UK using “Tier 2” visas.
Some members of cabinet were worried the set amount would limit the ability of businesses and services to recruit enough staff. But agreement has been reached.
The much-delayed draft plan leaves out the long-held aim to cut net migration to less than 100,000 a year. But the government has said it is still committed to that target.
The Confederation of British Industry lobby group had previously called on net migration targets to be scrapped amid fears that reducing low-skilled immigration could damage business.
“The UK risks having too few people to run the health service, pick food crops or deliver products to stores around the country,” it warned in August.
On Tuesday, Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston told the BBC’s Newsnight many of the ‘valuable workforce’ in the in the NHS and social care did not meet a 30,000 pound salary threshold.
“A hospital isn’t just about the clinical staff. It’s about the porters, the people who work in the kitchen, the social care workforce, who are absolutely crucial to making sure the NHS functions properly,” she said.