Ministers will aim to replace EU freedom of movement after Brexit

Ministers will aim to replace EU freedom of movement after Brexit

Ministers will aim to replace EU freedom of movement after Brexit with an Australian-style points system that encourages young and skilled workers to come to Britain

  • Priti Patel said UK would end freedom of movement ‘once and for all’
  • Home Secretary made the vow in Tory conference speech two weeks ago
  • New system will be outlined in the Queen’s Speech in Parliament today
  • It will be biased in favour of young people and those with vital skills 

Britain’s immigration system will be overhauled to block freedom of movement between the UK and the EU after Brexit under plans to be laid out in the Queen’s speech today. 

Plans for an Australian-style points system would be introduced  in what is seen as the most nakedly political Queen’s Speech in recent history.

It comes just weeks after hardline Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to block freedom of movement ‘once and for all’.

The new system is at the heart of the Immigration and Social Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill.

It is due to be in place from 2021 and is also expected to include measures to encourage migrants to live in areas outside of London when they come to the UK.

Priti Patel (pictured yesterday) vowed to block freedom of movement ‘once and for all’ in a Tory conference speech a fortnight ago

Under the Australian system skilled worker visas are available to people if they score enough points across a number of categories

Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds and his father Stanley Johnson attending the State Opening of Parliament

The Australian immigration system has been designed to allow people into the country who the government believes will contribute to the economy and fill skills shortages. 

Skilled worker visas are available to people if they score enough points across a number of categories in a points-based assessment with 60 the magic number.

One of the key categories is age, with all applicants having to be under 50.

Younger applicants are automatically awarded 30 points while those approaching the age of 50 get zero, making it much harder for them to be accepted.

Another key category is the ability to read and write English to a satisfactory level. Points are awarded to people who are particularly ‘proficient’ while even more are awarded to those deemed ‘superior’. 

Then there are qualifications and skilled employment history. This is where people must get most of their points from.

 For example, five years of skilled work outside Australia is worth 10 points and a PHD qualification receives 20 points.

In a blunt, no nonsense speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on October 2, Ms Patel said: ‘As Home Secretary at this defining moment in our country’s history, I have a particular responsibility when it comes to taking back control.

‘It is to end the free movement of people once and for all.’   

‘Instead we will introduce an Australian style points-based immigration system.

‘One that works in the best interests of Britain. One that attracts and welcomes the brightest and the best.

‘One that supports brilliant scientists, the finest academics and leading people in their fields. And one that is under the control of the British Government.’ 

The Home Secretary has arranged for Australian government officials to fly over to help implement the new system. Earlier this month she met Peter Dutton, her Australian counterpart, while both ministers were in the US for talks with Donald Trump’s administration. 

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