Boris Johnson’s Government ‘Not Serious About Taking Control of Immigration’: Migration Watch UK

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks alongside Home Secretary Priti Patel during the first meeting of the National Policing Board at the Home Office in London, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)
AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool

Home secretary Priti Patel announced that the government will adopt a points-based system for immigration, but a leading immigration think tank says the proposal demonstrates that the government is “not serious” about reducing the number of migrant workers in the country.

Starting on the 1st of January 2021 the UK will adopt a points-based system, replacing the current free-movement of people mandated by the European Union. Under the proposal, prospective skilled migrant workers will need to have at least 70 points to be granted a visa, accumulated through their salary level and abilities. Applicants will also need to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language and show that they have a job offer in their specific field.

“We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down,” said home secretary Priti Patel.

A minimum salary of £25,600 will be set for migrants. However, certain skilled labourers will be able to work in the UK earning just £20,480. The new immigration rules will also lower the current educational threshold which requires a college degree so that people with A level-style qualifications will be permitted to apply for a visa.

The new rules resemble a significant reduction in the threshold would-be migrants must meet, the salary level requirement having already considerably fallen from £30,000 per year. And importantly, no overall cap on migrant arrivals per year is being set, an important feature of the system where employed elsewhere, such as in Australia where a quota ensures the nation receives a smaller number of high-skill migrants ready to work in industries experiencing shortages of workers.

In response to the government’s new immigration plan, Alp Mehmet, the Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “These proposals suggest that the government is not serious about taking control of immigration. Not only will millions of UK workers see their jobs opened up to new or greater competition from overseas workers in much poorer countries but employers will no longer have to look to find anyone at home before searching abroad.”

“The main safeguard of a suitable pay threshold will be significantly lowered, with an added loophole that so-called ‘new entrants’ — who might be workers with a decade of experience — could be paid little more than the UK minimum wage,” Mehmet said in comments seen by Breitbart London.

“With no cap on numbers coming via the main route from the outset, this is a massive risk that will alarm the 30 million people who were expecting this government finally to deliver on their long-standing promises to reduce immigration and show belief in young Brits, rather than giving in to the demands of bosses,” he concluded.

In a Breitbart London exclusive video, before the general election last December, Mr Mehmet said that the Conservative Party has “run scared” from their commitments to reduce immigration.

“They couldn’t do it, largely because they were afraid,” he said.

The think tank boss said that it was “nonsense” to think that a points-based system would reduce immigration, saying that the government should introduce a cap on the overall number of migrants.

“A cap on the number of workers coming in. The Australians have it, why not we… if we are going to introduce that sort of system?” he questioned.

Kurt Zindulka

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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