New Australian-style point based immigration system 'to be introduced in UK by the end of the year'

Tim Baker
Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

A new, Australian-style points-based immigration will reportedly be in place in the UK by the end of the year.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel will reportedly make her case for the new system at the next meeting of Boris Johnson's Cabinet.

She will tell the Prime Minister and other Secretaries of State that the UK needs to expedite its introduction of the migration system.

Ms Patel wants the new arrangements in place by December 31, when the UK transitions out of the EU, according to the Daily Express.

It would be two years earlier than had previously been planned and would scrap a temporary extension of existing rules promised by Theresa May after pressure from business groups.

The home secretray will make her case to Cabinet (Reuters)

Ms Patel wants to ensure restrictions on low-skilled migrants are in place by the end of 2020.

A Government source told the paper: “We need to deliver change and businesses need to be prepared for uncontrolled migration of low-skilled workers to end this year.

“There is a clear drive for talented and skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK, but we also need to see a reduction in the number of unskilled workers entering the UK and that’s why this will be coming to an end.”

The proposed changes could bring Prime Minister Boris Johnson into conflict with groups such as the Confederation of British Industry, which has said that companies need “at least two years to adapt to any new immigration system”.

Australia’s points-based system is a “general skilled migration programme, where immigrants applying for a visa are typically selected based on ‘economically relevant characteristics’ like education, language skills and work experience,” Dr Alan Gamlen of Monash University in Melbourne said.

“The exact way points are allocated changes depending on policy and the labour market but typically an applicant picks a ‘skilled occupation’ from a list and needs to score a minimum number of points,” he added.

During the general election Mr Johnson said that such a scheme would ensure that lower-skilled workers came to Britain only when there was a “specific shortage” of staff in certain sectors.

It comes as the PM said the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system will put “people before passports”.

The Prime Minister made the statement as he pitched for improved business links with Africa.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on Monday, he said: “Our system is becoming fairer and more equal between all our global friends and partners, treating people the same, wherever they come from.

“By putting people before passports we will be able to attract the best talent from around the world, wherever they may be.”

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