Under a new points-based immigration system introduced by the United Kingdom’s Home Office, tens of thousands of migrants from outside the EU will be able to come to Britain.
An extra 50,000 workers from around the world and their family members could arrive in the UK each year, the Home Office admitted. Another 25,000 students could join them, making a total of 75,000 non-EU newcomers, according to the Home Office Impact Assessment.
On the other hand, around 80,000 fewer EU citizens will settle down in the UK every year. That suggests that net migration, i.e. those arriving minus people leaving the country will remain pretty much the same.
The decision to open up the UK to more non-EU workers comes at a time when the country is estimated to lose 6.5 million jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown imposed on the country. It is also being pursued by the government despite polling consistently showing the vast majority of Brits saying migration is too high and want to reduce migration to their country.
The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination Bill, which easily passed the Tory-controlled House of Commons with 351 votes to 252, will establish the so-called Australian-style points system from next year.
Its aim was to honor the Brexit referendum result by ending free movement, which was a key reason why the country voted to leave the EU four years ago and which Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledged to maintain.
Brits will be competing with non-EU foreigners for work under new plan
Home Secretary Priti Patel said that the UK wants to attract the “brightest and the best“.
However, the chairman of Migration Watch UK, Alp Mehmet, said that the proposed system may, in fact, increase immigration in a betrayal of British citizens and their desire to dramatically curb immigration.
According to a report published by Migration Watch UK, while the government saying it wants to reduce numbers, in many ways, the new system will offer a number of avenues to attract more migrants and keep in them in the country.
For example, the points-based system will allow more workers from across the world to move into medium-skilled roles at a lower salary with no cap and no resident labour market test.”
The resident labour market test has been in place for decades and requires UK businesses to first advertise their jobs in the UK before adverting a vacancy to attract workers in the rest of the world for that position. It was designed to protect workers.
The Home Office Impact Assessment also shows that new graduates can stay in the UK and work for two years instead of the current four months.
Documents that were published together along with the bill show that 30,000 skilled migrants from outside the EU are expected to arrive every year to work for example as nurses or teachers. They will bring with them about 20,000 family members, and an additional 25,000 newcomers are supposed to be students.
Migration Watch UK also points to “the greater incentive for millions in much poorer and much larger countries such as Pakistan, the Philippines and Nigeria to come here and fill medium and even lower-skilled jobs such as child minder, teaching assistant and senior care worker, including at barely above the minimum wage, in an uncapped work permit system (and the much wider gaps in relative incomes and living standards) may mean that non-EU numbers rise further and faster than the government anticipates and more than enough to outpace any fall in EU numbers.”
The proposal states that everyone coming to the UK for work or studies would require a visa after the EU freedom of movement rules end. EU citizens will then have no longer preferential nor easier access to the country.
In the points system, every migrant will need at least 70 points to obtain permission to work in Britain. They will be rewarded with points for speaking English, whether the job earns a salary at a certain level, and if it needs a certain types of skills.