Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to overhaul the post-Brexit immigration policy so it “ends freedom of movement once and for all.”
In a statement released on the eve of the Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, she appears to be taking adopting the recommendations of the migration advisory committee (MAC) which said that high skilled workers should be the priority from EU countries after Brexit.
The MAC recommendations include ending free movement as a policy following Brexit, replacing this with a system that makes it easier for higher skilled workers to enter the UK than their ‘low skilled’ counterparts.
In the post-Brexit immigration policy, the government say applicants for working visas must meet a minimum salary threshold and have their families sponsored by their future employers.
Mrs May outlined the post-Brexit immigration policy vision in a statement, which said: “For the first time in decades, it will be this country that controls and chooses who we want to come here.
“It will be a skills-based system where it is workers’ skills that matter, not where they come from. It will be a system that looks across the globe and attracts the people with the skills we need.
“Crucially, it will be fair to ordinary working people. For too long, people have felt they have been ignored on immigration and that politicians have not taken their concerns seriously enough.
“The new skills-based system will make sure low-skilled immigration is brought down and set the UK on the path to reduce immigration to sustainable levels, as we promised.
“At the same time we are training up British people for the skilled jobs of the future.”
How this translates in real terms for industry remains to be seen; major players in the transport sector have previously voiced their displeasure at this approach, and it puts huge pressure on the government to solve the skills shortage with British-born workers.