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Sun, 5 April 2020

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By Policy Exchange
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Boris Johnson reveals plan for post-Brexit immigration shake-up days ahead of election

Boris Johnson reveals plan for post-Brexit immigration shake-up days ahead of election
2 min read

Boris Johnson has revealed low-skilled migrants will not be able to settle permanently in the UK under his post-Brexit immigration plans.

Five days ahead of polling day the Prime Minister has laid out details of the Conservatives' ‘Australian-style points-based system’ for controlling migration after the UK leaves the European Union.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said there would be three categories of visas for those wanting to come to the UK.

The first would be for “exceptional talent” that could be fast-tracked to the UK without needing a job offer, while a second type would be for skilled workers such as NHS staff to travel to the country when they have a job lined up.

While both these groups would be given the chance to stay permanently, a third group of unskilled workers would be eligible for short-term visas in sectors where there are employee shortages.

The Prime Minister explained under those visas, “there is no pathway to residency.”

“It’s not raising the drawbridge or slamming the door, far from it. It’s keeping Britain open to the world but open to the whole world and in a fair way,” he told the Sunday Times. 

Meanwhile the independent Migration Advisory Committee would also be given boosted powers to set visa quotas for certain sectors, likened to the Bank of England in setting interest rates.

Under the plans the public body would also begin publishing an annual report into how to lower overall migration while addressing “emerging gaps” in the labour market.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Conservatives would also roll-out a “digital immigration status” from 2022 to allow migrants to prove their right to be in the country, while also aiding the Government crack down on those staying illegally. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The vote to leave the EU was a vote to take back control of our borders, and that is exactly what a Conservative ­majority government will do by getting Brexit done and ending freedom of movement.

"Immigration will finally be subject to democratic control. We will be able to create a fairer system, which will attract the brightest and the best from around the world to come here and contribute to our society and economy, while getting overall immigration down."

The unveiling comes as Mr Johnson wrote a letter to voters on Sunday, saying they face a historic election that will "shape future decades". 

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