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Report: Ending Unskilled Migration After Brexit Will not Damage Economy

Post-Brexit Britain can slash net migration to 50,000 a year by barring unskilled labour and imposing a strict visa regime without damaging the economy, a report has claimed.

In a report for pro-Brexit campaign group Leave Means Leave, MEP and former UKIP migration and financial affairs spokesman Steven Woolfe calls for a new visa scheme combining the Australian points-based system with work permits.

According to the plan, there would not be a cap on the number of highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs, or investors but unskilled visas would be completely stopped for five years.

Work permits would only be granted to an applicant if they had a job offer with a minimum £35,000 salary and had passed an English language test, signed up to a five-year private health insurance contract, and had sufficient savings.

To help a sector which is particularly reliant on migrant labour to adjust, up to 50,000 temporary work permits would be issued initially for agricultural workers, tapering off to zero by the third year.

In a speech on Monday, reported by the Shropshire Star, Mr. Woolfe will say: “With the UK on a path to leaving the European Union, the Government now has the moral responsibility to deliver the will of the British people.

“This report provides them with a blueprint for how they can do just that. We need an immigration system that is fair, flexible and forward-thinking. It must be fair in its outlook, flexible in practice and forward-thinking for our economy.

“Brexit is not about splendid isolation – it’s about re-engaging with the world, without our wings clipped by the European Union.

“This new British working visa system will deliver on the will of the electorate. It won’t mean pulling up the drawbridge, as we will continue to encourage the best and the brightest to migrate and settle here.

“But by introducing strict controls, an annual cap and a five-year freeze on unskilled migrants, it will reduce net migration year-on-year, lessen the strain on our public services and help build a more cohesive society.”

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