Boris Johnson unveils immigration shake-up to attract 'brightest and best' to UK after Brexit
Boris Johnson has pledged to make it quicker and easier for foreign scientists to settle in the UK under a shake-up of immigration rules after Brexit.
The Prime Minister said a new fast-track system would allow the UK to attract “the brightest and the best" in the fields of science, engineering and technology..
The plans include removing the need for immigrants to have an offer of employment before they can arrive in the country, and lifting the cap on the number of "exceptional talent" visas which are currently handed out.
Immigrants' dependents will also be given full access to the labour market, while more universities and research institutes will be allowed to endorse candidates.
Mr Johnson, who has already pledged to scrap the Government's target to bring net migration below 100,000 a year, said: "Britain has a proud history of innovation, with home-grown inventions spanning from the humble bicycle to the lightbulb.
"We were home to the world’s first national DNA database, we discovered graphene, and our cutting-edge scientists should be proud to follow in the footsteps of titans like Ada Lovelace and Nobel Laureates Francis Crick and Peter Higgs.
"But to ensure we continue to lead the way in the advancement of knowledge, we have to not only support the talent that we already have here, but also ensure our immigration system attracts the very best minds from around the world.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "We want Britain to be the most prosperous economy in Europe with an immigration system that attracts the brightest and best global talent.
"Our new fast-track visa route will be a key part of this - encouraging the world’s top scientists and researchers to our shores.
"These gifted minds will bolster the UK’s standing as a hub for science and innovation as we look to introduce a points-based immigration system centred on what people will contribute to our great country."