Katy Balls Katy Balls

What will Boris’s immigration system look like?

What will the UK’s immigration system look like after leaving the EU? During the general election campaign, Boris Johnson committed to an Australian-style points based system. He also committed to bringing immigration levels down. But besides these two points, little is currently known about the specifics of how the new system will operate when it comes into effect next January after the transition period ends.

Today, the Migration Advisory Committee – which provides the government with recommendations – has published a report intended to help the government add flesh to the bones of their plans. However, it raises potential issues over the current strategy being pursued by Johnson. The committee praises the idea of a points-based system for high skilled Labour but does not recommend a full shift to an Australian points-based system for all. Instead, they suggest the best way forward consists of a mixed system that would rely on a points-based system for those coming to Britain without a job and a minimum salary threshold for those who have job offers.

When it comes to the salary threshold, the committee advises that the government should drop the salary threshold for immigrants by more than £4,000 from £30,000 to £25,600. This would, in theory, help with a drive to recruit NHS staff and teachers. While Johnson and his ministers have been privately keen to axe that cap for some time, there had been a sense that it ought to be replaced with a skills focus rather than another salary threshold.

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