The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is expected announce new immigration routes to the United Kingdom in the coming budget, at a time when many Britons are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic and legal and illegal immigration are already running at or near record highs.
The changes are supposedly designed to boost “international competitiveness” by making it easier for bosses to recruit “high-skilled” foreign workers, particularly in the tech sector, rather than training local people.
“We’ve taken back control of our borders and are backing business with a skills-led approach to migration that works for the whole of the UK.” said Sunak, attempting to repurpose the ‘take back control’ slogan used by the Brexit campaign to support the planned increase in migration routes, in comments reported by Yahoo!
“These reforms will ensure we maintain our global status as world-leader in science and innovation – welcoming those with unique expertise,” he claimed.
“Our immigration system will attract top talent to boost firms, drive economic growth and help us to build back better from the pandemic.”
‘Take Back Control’? – UK Net Immigration Rises to 313,000, Driven by Non-EU Arrivals https://t.co/tg8FlTSDin
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 27, 2020
Speaking to Breitbart London, Alp Mehmet of the Migration Watch UK think tank said that “Rishi Sunak has been badly advised.”
“The Treasury never have understood or accepted that the vast majority of the public want less immigration, not more,” Mehmet stressed.
“This comes at a time when unemployment is rising rapidly and before the loose points-based system, which is very likely going to result in an increase in work immigration, kicks in. A daft policy, if ever there was one.”
An Australian-style points-based immigration system post-Brexit was long demanded by veteran Leave campaigners such as Nigel Farage, and promised by latecomers to the cause like Boris Johnson, who only joined in 2016.
However, as Migration Watch have pointed out, the points-based system proposed by the Johnson administration lacks the key feature of the Australian system, namely a fixed cap on annual inflow — meaning it could well lead to a significant increase in immigration, not a reduction.
Prime Minister is also overseeing other relaxations of the already limited controls on immigration, for example by lowering salary thresholds and the requirement to advertise jobs locally.
‘Give British Workers a Chance!’ Think Tank Bashes Plan to Import Millions of Workers During Economic Crisis https://t.co/mlrb6mZRR9
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 1, 2020