Leaked documents suggest Brexit Britain is set to get tough on EU immigration after Brexit, ensure it benefits “not just the migrants … but also existing residents”.
Leaked to the left-liberal Guardian newspaper, the 82-page Government document proposes strict limits on unskilled immigration from the European Union — proven to have held down working-class wages — with residency permits limited to two years, among a raft of other measures, including:
- Plans to give “preference in the job market to resident workers” — meaning British jobs for British workers, wherever possible
- Plans to restrict EU migrants’ ability to bring in family members, with “virtually no limit on the distance of the relationship between the EU citizen and the family member” in the current system, but family members strictly defined as “direct family members only, plus durable partners” in future
- EU migrants wanting to bring in spouses from outside the EU will have to demonstrate annual earning of £18,600 a year — just like migrants from outside the bloc
- EU nationals will no longer be allowed to enter Britain on relatively easy to forge ID cards, requiring full passports
- EU nationals who wish to stay in Britain for an extended period will have to apply for biometric residence permits
“We are clear that, wherever possible, UK employers should look to meet their labour needs from resident labour,” the document notes.
“Put plainly … to be considered valuable to the country as a whole, immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off.”
This leaked doc is part & parcel of a mean & cynical approach which is already deterring people from coming here https://t.co/E10Jtj4iSp
— Open Britain (@Open_Britain) September 5, 2017
Open Britain, the continuity Remain campaign, has already complained the proposals are “part & parcel of a mean & cynical approach which is already deterring people from coming here” on social media — neglecting to mention that the decline in the availability of cheap labour from the EU has coincided with salary growth and an increase in hiring.
The rhetoric on controlling immigration after Brexit echoes similar rhetoric on the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) scheme in the United States being “cruel” — an adjective so ubiquitous among critics that it gives the appearance of being an agreed line.
The Obama era scheme effectively prevented so-called Dreamers — young illegal immigrants brought to the United States by their parents — from being deported. It is now being scrapped, in part because some 2,139 beneficiaries have been convicted or accused of crimes against U.S. citizens.
— LEAVE.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) June 21, 2016
The Guardian alleges that the Brexit paper’s plans to bring in “tough new restrictions on [migrants’] rights to bring in family members … could lead to thousands of families being split up”.
The document itself is clear that its purpose is not “stopping EU migration” — but it does suggest “there will be a fundamental shift in our policy in that the Government will take a view on the economic and social needs of the country as regards migration, rather than leaving this decision entirely to EU citizens and their employers”.