The British government announced Wednesday a new immigration system that will reduce the number of unskilled laborers and non-English speakers coming into the country.
The new system, which is to be implemented in January 2021, will be points-based, similar to Australia’s method, and points would be awarded to applying migrants if they spoke English, had an employer set up in the UK and were going to work in “skilled labor,” said the Economic Times.
Immigrants would need to have 70 points in total to be accepted, gaining more points for qualifications.
This would encourage British companies to recruit foreigners “with greatest talents,” such as “scientists, engineers, academics and other highly-skilled workers,” according to the government’s description of the policy. They made the following statement in the introduction to the specifics of the new plan:
“For too long, distorted by European free movement rights, the immigration system has been failing to meet the needs of the British people. Failing to deliver benefits across the UK and failing the highly-skilled migrants from around the world who want to come to the UK and make a contribution to our economy and society.”
“Today is a historic moment for the whole country,” said Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel, the official in charge of the UK’s immigration and visa system during the announcement.
“We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down,” continued Patel. She has been a member of British Parliament since 2010. “We cannot simply rely on low-skill, low-wage, low-cost labor coming in from the EU which we have become dependent upon through our membership in the European Union,” she told The Telegraph.
Priti Patel has defended the Government’s new immigration points system https://t.co/6lzw7DXXfw
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) February 19, 2020
However, the new plan has not come without backlash. Anti-Brexit activist Femi Oluwole tweeted out some concern about the new ideas.
You’re a French nurse or an Italian doctor, and you know that there are 29 other countries in Europe where you would be treated equally as one of their own, and the UK is the only one saying your girlfriend can’t come because she’s only worth 30 points…#Immigration
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) February 19, 2020
Actor David Schneider stated his opposition to the new rules, claiming that low-skill careers would suffer without immigrant workers.
▪️Social care screwed
▪️Hauliers & food processing screwed
▪️Travel & tourism sector screwed
If our greatest enemy had set out to destroy us from within, they couldn’t have come up with a better immigration plan. https://t.co/xSVhrhE8C8
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) February 19, 2020
Even so, not all of the reactions to the policy change have been negative. The “brexiteers” – people who supported Brexit – seemed to be quite pleased. Brexit Alliance London Assembly Member David Kurden tweeted his approval for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as Patel.
Well done @BorisJohnson and @patel4witham for introducing an Australian-style points based system for immigration. To be successful in reducing net immigration, it must be accompanied by a cap on numbers and the aim for the UK to become self-sufficient in skills.
— David Kurten (@davidkurten) February 19, 2020
Conservative former Southampton FC Chair Rupert Lowe emphasized that the brexiteers aren’t anti-immigration, but just want to control who comes into the country.
Those who smugly say ‘oh but Australia has more immigration than the UK has’ completely miss the point.
The Australian Government are in total control. They decide who comes and who doesn’t.
Brexit was never about blocking immigration, but ensuring the UK had ultimate control!
— Rupert Lowe (@RupertLowe10) February 19, 2020