UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has devised plans that will leave European Union workers facing the prospect of having to secure skilled work prior to entering Britain. Rudd’s post-Brexit, UK immigration regime, which has been sanctioned by ministers, will ‘restore border controls and cut net migration by 100,000,’ according to sources.
While EU workers face being hit with UK Immigration restrictions, tourists and students seeking entry to Britain from the continent will continue to have free access as the UK government seeks to pave the way for a trade deal with Brussels.
Sanwar Ali, Editor of workpermit.com News reviews potential Brexit immigration changes
It seems likely that there will be immigration restrictions on EU workers living and working in the UK after Brexit finally happens perhaps in years to come. The Government wishes to reduce immigration to the UK and it seems many voters wish to reduce immigration to the UK. As expected it also seems likely that other EU Countries will put restrictions on British workers working in their Countries as well. It remains likely that most EU workers and their families currently in the UK will be allowed to stay.
Low-skilled foreign workers ‘locked out’
Rudd’s regime is an attempt to close Britain’s borders to the tens of thousands of low-skilled immigrants that arrive in Britain every year. On Wednesday, 12 October, the plans went before a Cabinet sub-committee on Brexit. A Whitehall insider said: ‘There was a strong consensus that this was the only way to go.’
‘Ministers agreed that work will continue to see if there is an alternative. The reality, though, is that this is the only option that is going to work in the long term and that will deliver what the public voted for – which is proper control of our borders,’ the insider added.
EU visa scheme for British workers
In response to Britain’s visa plans, officials anticipate that the EU will introduce a similar scheme. As a result, Britons are likely to need a work permit and will be restricted to skilled jobs. However, Brits looking to study or go on holiday in EU states, will be unaffected.
Big businesses on the other hand are likely to be outraged by the plans, with organisations arguing that access to low-skilled labour is crucial for the service sector and jobs such as construction and fruit picking. However, sources were quick to point out that the current crop of EU workers, which extends into the millions, will still be available.
UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, is expected to announce that EU workers currently in Britain will be granted residency, provided that they meet certain criteria, Workpermit.com assumes.
UK Seasonal worker visa scheme
Should a particular occupation suffer a skills shortage, such as agriculture, Rudd’s regime proposes the introduction of a seasonal worker scheme. This initiative would grant EU workers entry to the UK for a fixed duration. It’s also possible that workers will be allowed to move to the UK from the EU on intra-company transfer visas.
Steps will be taken to allow the self-employed to establish a businesses in the UK, provided they are self-sufficient and skilled. For instance, self-employed Polish plumbers would be granted entry to Britain if there is a demand for their services.
Rudd’s regime is likely to end any hope that Remain supporters had of keeping Britain within the single market. During a speech on Thursday, 13 October, European Council President, Donald Tusk, said: “There can be no compromise on the principle of free movement of people. The only real alternative to a hard Brexit is no Brexit.”
Recently, Theresa May has made it abundantly clear that Brexit talks will give specific focus to ‘regaining control of Britain’s borders.’
She told MPs: “What we are going to do is deliver on the vote of the British people to leave the European Union; what we are going to do is be ambitious in our negotiations, to negotiate the best deal for the British people, and that will include the maximum possible access to the European market, for firms to trade with, and operate within, the European market.”
“But I am also clear that the vote of the British people said that we should control the movement of people from the EU into the UK, and we believe we should deliver on what the British people want. The UK will be leaving the European Union.
We are not asking ourselves what bits of membership we want to retain. We are saying: what is the right relationship for the UK to have for the maximum benefit of our economy and of the citizens of this country?” May added.
Australian-style points-based visa system rejected
Just recently, Theresa May dismissed the idea of an Australian-style points-based system, originally suggested by now foreign secretary and former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, plus the Vote Leave campaign, during the referendum in June.
According to the most recent data, seventy per cent of EU migrants arrive in the UK to work or seek employment. Meanwhile, eighty per cent of workers who have entered Britain in the last decade are in low-skilled jobs.
Anti-Immigration Migration Watch calls for work permit scheme
Back in January, MigrationWatch said that a work permit scheme would slash net migration by 100,000 if Britain left the EU. However, the anti-immigrant group has recently faced intense criticism for publishing misleading reports on UK immigration.
The pressure group suggested that approximately 30,000 work permits per year would need to be granted to EU citizens to retain the existing stock of skilled workers in the UK and meet the needs of businesses.
Recently, MigrationWatch chairman, Lord Green of Deddington, wrote on the ConHome website: ‘Where employers claim to have become reliant on EU migrants to fill low-paid jobs, they will need to wean themselves away from their current dependence on cheap foreign labour by improving pay and conditions so as to attract British workers and, perhaps, by investing in improving productivity.’
Foreign aid budget and international trade agreements
In a bid to secure a better trade deal for UK exporters, the government is likely to leverage the country’s £12 billion foreign aid budget. Ministers think that Britain’s generosity when it comes to providing foreign aid will work in the country’s favour for building alliances around the World. However, so far Countries have been reluctant to reach new trade agreements with the UK in case this upsets the EU.
International trade secretary, Liam Fox, and Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary are said to be in favour of using the foreign aid budget for negotiating a better deal. However, it’s unclear exactly what leveraging the budget will look like.