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The leaders of the Brexit campaign have proposed a brand new immigration plan that may see the UK exclude migrants for two main reasons – not speaking the English language and not being skilled enough in a certain profession.
Vote Leave politicians such as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Priti Patel (who are members of the conservative party) as well as Labour’s Gisela Stuart, released a statement that was picked up by UK media outlets (the Telegraph, the BBC & the Times) stating that the pro Brexit camp want to replicate Australia’s points-based system for all migrants entering into the country.
Below are certain extracts from the statement:
‘By the next general election, we will create a genuine Australian-style points-based immigration system. The automatic right of all EU citizens to come to live and work in the UK will end, as will EU control over vital aspects of our social security system.’
‘Those seeking entry for work or study should be admitted on the basis of their skills without discrimination on the ground of nationality. To gain the right to work, economic migrants will have to be suitable for the job in question. For relevant jobs, we will be able to ensure that all those who come have the ability to speak good English.’
‘We think that this system will be fairer, more humane, and better for the economy. We will welcome new citizens who wish to contribute to our society, as so many immigrants have done. And we will be able to remove those who abuse our hospitality.’
If voters do opt to leave the EU in the up and coming referendum, it means that migrants could find themselves having to apply to come to the UK based on a grading system if they’re looking for a visa to live and work within the country. The points will be calculated on their ability to speak English, the capabilities they have as an individual, their earning potential as well as other elements such as age.
The statement itself confirmed that if the proposed changes do go ahead, it wouldn’t apply to EU citizens who are already settled in Britain as well as Irish citizens.
The way the debate has been portrayed in the media and certainly from the current talks that have taken place, Immigration is now arguably the biggest issue when it comes to the Brexit – or at least, the most discussed element. As we mentioned previously, ONS announced in their Migration Statistics Quarterly Report that net migration levels to the UK have now reached 333,000. It is statistics like this, that show a 20,000 increase year-on-year, that are dominating UK arguments.
If Britain did decide to leave the EU it would no longer have to obey with the Freedom of Movement Act, which allows all EU citizens to easily migrate to any other membered state.
The public opinion researcher, ICM, held a new EU referendum phone poll that shows there has been a change in favour of a Brexit since the firm last conducted its research earlier this month. It means that the Vote Leave campaign has come from behind in mid-May to enjoy a lead in the closing stages.
With only a few weeks left now, the debate is neck and neck. It is still very much undecided on which way the verdict will go but as always, we’ll keep you updated with the latest news.