Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has cast doubt on Boris Johnson’s proposed points-based immigration system, with the Migration Watch UK think tank pointing out that it may be a ruse to increase the current influx.
Mr Johnson, the former Vote Leave frontman who is the runaway favourite in the Tory membership run-off vote for party leader and, by extension, Prime Minister — unless Theresa May or anti-Brexit colleagues move to thwart the transfer of power — is touting an “Australian-style points-based system” to bring immigration under control after Brexit.
However, despite public perception of the former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London as a right-winger on such issues, he is in fact a long-standing proponent of a sweeping amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants — and Nigel Farage and pro-borders advocates fear his “points-based system” may be a ruse to relax the country’s already weak and demonstrably failing immigration controls.
“An Australian-style points system can be used to be increase or decrease immigration numbers,” the Brexit Party leader warned.
“Does Boris Johnson want to reduce the numbers?” he asked rhetorically.
“I don’t think so.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 24, 2019
Farage’s warning may be bolstered by the fact that Johnson has so far refused to commit to the party’s promise to reduce net immigration “from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands” — issued by David Cameron and Theresa May in three consecutive election but never kept because, senior Tories subsequently admitted, they never intended to honour it.
Johnson also refused to say whether he will eliminate the £30,000 salary requirement for a migrant to qualify as a “skilled worker”, which bosses who profit from importing pre-trained foreign workers on low pay have long opposed.
Indeed, the Migration Watch UK think tank, which supports reducing immigration in order to alleviate pressure on housing and public services and encourage employers to increase pay and training opportunities, points out that non-EU immigration is already subject to a point-based system, and this has not stopped it hitting a 15-year high.
In a briefing seen by Breitbart London, the think tank observed that the current points-based system “largely eliminated the scope for British immigration officers to use their discretion” when assessing visa applicants, reducing them to a “box-ticking process” in which “the presumption… was that a visa would be issued unless fraud could be demonstrated.”
“It would… be prudent to stay with the system we have, making it less complex and more efficient, while tightening it as necessary to achieve a level of net migration which is consistent with government policy and strong public opinion [in favour of reducing net migration] while permitting the skills and expertise the economy needs,” the think tank recommended.
Commenting on Johnson’s immigration proposals, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “This statement just ducks all the key issues. There is no mention whatever of reducing net migration let alone how it might be achieved. Three-quarters of the public wish to see a significant reduction in immigration, including 88% of Conservative party members. Their views deserve to be respected.”
UK Migrant Boom: EU Migration Falls, But Non-EU Migration at 15-year High https://t.co/NQ4bRPJ4Qd
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 28, 2019