In yet another turn of event in a whirlwind of situations rocking the UK, the long-awaited immigration paper has been finally unveiled by the government.
The Whitehall has been through a handful of tumultuous situations in recent weeks, including more cabinet splits, alleged sexist comment about Theresa May by Jeremy Corbyn as well as Conservative ministers’ threats to leave the whip, in case no deal Brexit becomes government policy. The white paper is the latest.
The White Paper
Free movement of workers between the UK and the US will be hampered as the immigration white paper is aimed at reducing immigration level by ending free entry of workers between the two countries.
As from 2021, generalist workers can enter the UK without already having a job offer and remain in the country for up to a year seeking work. At the end of these 12 months, they must leave the country as part of what is called ‘cooling off period’ after which they can enter the country again. This transition period will be between 2021 and 2025.
People who use this system are:
– Required to pay for their visa,
– Not allowed to take advantage of public funds (e.g., health care) and
– Barred from using another visa route.
These proposals have been tagged problematic. Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, described the issue as follow: firms would be encouraged to hire different personnel per year by the temporary 12-month visa route for immigrant workers that receive below £30,000. This results in unnecessary cost hike as well as discouraging migrants from being part of local communicates which is a pertinent social concern. He described the situation as good for neither business nor the public.
The limitations on skilled workers will be removed, and due consultations will be made regarding the proposal of £30,000 minimum salary requirement for skilled migrants. No immigration target will be set for each calendar year through Home Secretary Sajid Javid said they immigration will be maintained at levels considered sustainable.
Removal of such caps should ordinarily have signaled positivity as businesses will be able to access their required foreign talents more efficiently, but this move will most likely end in a considerable rise in cost and administrative burden of getting these migrants because of the end of the free movement. With free movement, employees can be sought at much lower costs from the EU.
It is crystal clear that this white paper is a representation of the government’s toxic approach to immigrants and holds no promise of better days post-Brexit.
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