Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
Free of the EU, Boris Johnson has proposed a new points-based system for ALL incoming migrant workers in an attempt to respond to pro-Brexit voters concerned about years of uncontrolled mass migration. The new system, as Damian Wilson notes below, is causing some predictable whining by companies, who will no longer have access to such a low-paid workforce. At least, we hope that is the case. The original plan under Theresa May was to continue free movement of people within the EU until 2023 to help businesses who claimed to need more time to adapt. Johnson’s plan has axed that grace period, going into force by 2021.
The BBC (severe MSM warning) gives us a brief summary of Johnson’s new system:
What’s in the proposals?
The government wants a “points-based system” which takes different factors like skills and language into account when awarding visas which would allow people to work in the UK.
In a policy statement being published on Wednesday 19 February, the government says that to get a visa, applicants from anywhere in the world must:
- Have a job offer from an “approved employer” at an “appropriate skill level”
- Speak English
That will get an applicant to 50 points. But they must have 70 points to be eligible for a visa. The most straightforward route to the final 20 points is that the applicant will:
- Earn at least £25,600 (reduced from the £30,000 which currently applies to non-EU applicants. This was a recommendation from the MAC.)
But they can also gain extra points for having better qualifications (10 points for a relevant PhD; or 20 points for a PhD in science, technology, engineering or maths) or an offer of a job in which the UK has a shortage (20 points), even if they don’t earn as much money.
Crucially, EU residents will now be treated like everyone else, which means they will have to apply for a visa subject to the same criteria.
A propaganda statement from Priti Patel (pictured), the minister responsible, quoted by Time (again, MSM warning) is as follows:
The system will “bring overall migration numbers down” while attracting “the brightest and the best from around the globe,” Home Secretary Priti Patel told LBC radio. The aim is to “end our reliance on low-skilled workers that are obviously — more often than not — low paid,” she said.
As Damian Wilson below observes, the UK has to get its act together, if there’s really a will to do so, to stop illegal migration and take firm control of its borders. Otherwise, the ‘reliance on low-skilled workers’ Patel refers to, who are conveniently low-paid, will continue.
As for the skilled group, Time notes that
With employers no longer able to access the entire EU to fill job vacancies, required thresholds on the existing system have been lowered, both in salaries and required qualifications.
So lower thresholds mean it is easier for the skilled group to get in. So this will still mean a relatively higher level of foreign competition, i.e. higher numbers of skilled migrant coming in, that local workers are subjected to. Lord Green of Migration Watch explains the problem of lowering the threshold for skilled migrants below and what it means in practice (contained in this report we published last November, titled The Scam of Mass Migration on Us All – Except Big Business and the Political Parties Covering For Them):
At ER, we trust Boris Johnson as far as we can throw him. A while back he proposed giving amnesty to all current illegals in the UK (the true numbers of which could be many times more than official estimates), which sent people up in arms. We’ll be watching for these sleights of hand from Establishment-supporting Boris.
Cry a river for penny-pinching firms moaning that Brits will get jobs now that Brexit has locked door for unskilled EU workers
DAMIAN WILSON for RT
With the bold announcement of details about a points-based system for migrants wishing to come to live and work in the UK, Home Secretary Priti Patel may have caused some uproar, but this was a festering wound of an issue that needed to be cauterised.
While the liberals are claiming that the UK has pulled the drawbridge up on migration, the more accurate view is that the sun has set on the day of low-skilled, non-English speaking immigration — for now.
Well, partly. Because while those attempting to come to Britain legally face a far higher barrier to entry than previously, there will still be lorries packed with Vietnamese migrants sneaking through East Anglian ports, students overstaying their study visas and extended families exploiting lax reunion laws that need to be addressed.
And of course, there is the UK’s role in providing asylum to those fleeing war and persecution from Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere. Thankfully, free of the necessity to meet EU targets we can just decide ourselves what is right.
These are still big arguments that need to be had and decisions must be made if the government is serious about “taking back control of its borders” in a meaningful way, and not just one that cuts the mustard for the time being, but that can be tweaked in the future to dilute its potency.
While your average Brexit voter might be satisfied at the latest news, those in business who have relied on cheap EU labour for the last 15 or so years have their knickers in a twist. It seems the PM’s undiplomatic retort to “F*** business” at a diplomatic soirée back in 2018 may be more than just a throwaway line.
Because those businesses in hospitality, agriculture, distribution centers and the like will have to suck up the pain here. Asking that, in the future, they sponsor jobs for their migrant workforce, insist that they speak English and require that they have never been to jail for more than a year seems sensible and should have been in place way back.
For them to complain that they need a transition period to get used to the idea seems a little hypocritical.
Back in 2004, when Poland joined the EU, the UK was exceptional in that it allowed open-door immigration from Day One, while both France and Germany insisted on transitional arrangements.
You didn’t hear British firms complaining then, chomping at the bit to get hold of cheap, cheap labour.
The wage compression that followed this modern-day gold rush, keeping salaries for UK nationals artificially low for years, has only just been partially redressed this week when the average wage finally surpassed 2008 levels.
Then there were the cultural implications across the UK, with local people resenting the influx of eastern European nationals, often citing the fact that the newcomers did not speak English and took local jobs as the twin reasons for that resentment. As I was working in the boiler room of British politics at that time, I can confirm that this message was the fuel used to stoke the fire that drove one of the key campaign engines. (ER: large influxes of largely younger male workers have also been the driving force behind gang problems, which negatively affect life for local UK residents.)
Brexit offered a chance to redress those specific EU-related problems, and the new system is the result of the government’s efforts to deliver on what the people wanted.
And it is what they wanted. Immigration was far and above the issue of Brexit, as Professor Matthew Goodwin from the University of Kent starkly displayed in his very accessible research. Not the economy, not trade, not the environment. Immigration.
So if Boris Johnson and his pro-Brexit government are serious about staying in power, it was vital that they move quickly at the first opportunity with policies the people could understand and believe were workable.
Importantly for the PM, he needed the focus to be off the usual unreachable migration targets. More than one Home Office minister and their boss have been found looking stupid when Office of National Statistics figures make their appearance showing reality a long way out of step with the promises of politicians.
And even if the points system sounds kinda complicated, the concept is an easy one to get to grips with.
Now the legislation needs to pass muster with the House of Commons, not too difficult given its current political configuration, then it needs to actually work.
Because it will only be a success if it delivers, and despite the fanfare today, there are still plenty around who want to see this fail.
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