On Monday 14 October 2019 the Queen’s speech announced the Government’s intention to lay down a bill relating to immigration in the forthcoming Parliamentary session.
In the briefing paper to the Queen’s speech, Boris Johnson stated the following:
“Through this Queen’s Speech we will seize the opportunities that Brexit will bring to take back control of our borders, our money and our laws. Once again we will be in charge of our own trading policy and our fishing waters, and we will pave the way for a new points based immigration system.”
The main points are as follows:
Ending free movement has been the focus of the Conservative Government since the EU referendum in 2016, previously under Theresa May and now Boris Johnson, and therefore comes as no surprise. The shift to a points-based system stems from Boris Johnson in August, although it has been mooted throughout the summer.
Given the UK already has a points-based system through Tiers 1-5 of the immigration rules – namely Part 6A of the Immigration Rules HC 395, this is likely to be expanded throughout the rules.
The relevant parts of the immigration rules which are not subject to a points-based system are Parts 7 (which includes long residence), Part 8 (grandparents and other relatives), Part 11 (asylum) and Annexe FM (partners). It is therefore likely that some, if not all will be changed to a points-based system of assessment.
This is already contained in the Withdrawal Act 2018 and amounts to a restatement of the existing position.
The principal is already established through the Immigration Act 1971, so nothing new here.
This would enable the Government to restrict access to benefits for EU nationals.
Nothing new other than providing clarity.
Although a welcome proposal, it is worth noting by the time this becomes law, it is likely that the vast majority of the estimated 3 million EU nationals will have already obtained settled status - according to the same briefing paper, 1.5 million EU nationals have already successfully applied for settled status.
On closer inspection it is apparent that the Queen’s speech in relation to immigration contained little flesh and is largely a re-hash of what is already in the public domain. The main focus seems to be on trumpeting the end of free movement and the establishment of a new points-based system. The new right of appeal for EU citizens refused under the settlement scheme, will provide cold comfort for those who will have been refused by the time this becomes law.
Our team of immigration lawyers can be contacted by completing our online form, by email at email@example.com and by telephone on 020 7038 398