The Vote Leave campaign has today set out its vision for post-Brexit UK immigration control in a joint statement by Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, and Gisela Stuart.
Post-Brexit it is proposed that the UK will adopt a “genuine” Australian style points based immigration system which would admit migrants 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 whilst, for relevant jobs, all those who come must have the ability to speak good English.
The proposals are not fleshed out with detail so it is difficult to envisage exactly how it will appear but the UK has for eight years operated a Points Based System (PBS) that was based on the Australian model.
Moreover, the coalition government closed the highly skilled section of the PBS, (the Tier 1 General Migrant category - aimed at attracting the brightest and the best) to new entrants in 2012 and made it impossible to extend within the category from 2015, effectively closing the scheme in full from 2018.
The low skilled category of the PBS, Tier 3, was never actually introduced whilst the skills threshold for Tier 2, the old work permit route, was increased from NFQ level 4 to NFQ level 6.
Whilst there is no actual detail of the proposed PBS, it is stated that it will be “less bureaucratic and much simpler than the existing system for non-EU citizens.”
Away from the points based proposals, the rights of the Irish to travel freely within the UK would remain and any EU national already lawfully resident in the UK would be “automatically… granted indefinite leave to remain and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present.”
It should be borne in mind that existing countries held up as examples of a post-Brexit UK, such as Norway and Switzerland, are subject to the same free movement provisions as full EU Members States. In that eventuality, there would be no change to EU migration and the right of free access.
If you need assistance with your immigration matters, contact one of our accredited UK immigration solicitors today on +44(0)20 7038 3980, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our online contact form.