Cabinet backs Boris Johnson’s plan for points-based immigration system
Boris Johnson’s plans for a points-based immigration system have been rubber-stamped by the Cabinet.
However, Downing Street has refused to say when the Prime Minister will keep his promise to bring down the numbers moving to the UK from abroad.
The new regime, which is based on the Australian system, will come into effect on 1 January next year when free movement from the European Union comes to an end.
Under the plan, unskilled and low-skilled EU workers from will no longer have the automatic right to live in the UK.
Home Office estimates suggest that could reduce immigration by 90,000.
Meanwhile, skilled employees will need to have a job lined and meet a salary threshold - thought to be £25,600 - to get a work visa.
Following Cabinet, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “The system will be simpler and fairer and will not discriminate between countries and would return democratic control of immigration to the British people.
“The PM stressed that we must demonstrate that the UK is open and welcoming to talent from across the world, but the new system would end the reliance on importing cheap, low-skilled labour, bringing down immigration numbers overall.”
Details of the new regime are expected to be set out within days.
Asked how it would bring down total immigration, the spokesman said: “It would give the UK control of immigration in terms of people inside the EU and outside the EU - everybody will be treated equally.
“We'll introduce a points-based system, which by its very nature will give the Government control over the number of people who can come in.
“The PM is keen to continue to attract talent from around the world, but it will give us the ability to end the reliance on low-skilled workers.”
Mr Johnson has already ditched Theresa May’s pledge to bring down net immigration to below 100,000.
That commitment was originally drawn up by David Cameron ahead of the 2010 election and has never been achieved.