British Prime Minister Theresa May, has rejected the idea of implementing an Australian-style points-based system for EU nationals wanting to work, start a business or study in the UK following Brexit.
The Prime Minister has always been clear that Brexit would include some controls over immigration but has yet to say how they will work – a crucial issue for employers and for negotiations with the EU over future British access to the single market.
“What the British people voted for on the 23rd of June was to bring some control into the movement of people from the European Union to the UK,” she told reporters on Monday after a two-day summit of leaders from G20 nations in China.
“A points-based system does not give you that control,” May said. “I want a system where the government is able to decide who comes into the country. I think that’s what the British people want.”
Australia vets immigrants according to their occupation, qualifications and other factors but May said that points-based systems were open to abuse and did not give the government full control over who enters the country.
At the G20 summit, Ms May also made a statement on the triggering of Article 50, which will start Britain’s formal exit from the EU. Speaking to reporters after the summit she said, “I won’t be triggering it before the end of the year. I haven’t set a date when it is going to be triggered but I am conscious that the British people will want to see us actually putting their decision into practice.”
Brexiters’ incensed by decision
Many of those who voted to leave the EU did so on the grounds that a points-based system would be introduced for EU nationals coming into the UK. Some have accused Ms May of ‘backsliding’ and pandering to Brussel’s non-negotiable demand that access to the single market must come with free movement of people.
Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence party, condemned the remarks on Monday, saying: “Mrs May’s rejection of the type of migration system so many voted Leave to see implemented indicates serious backsliding. If the establishment think they can stitch up Brexit then they better be ready for the huge electoral consequences.”
It seems clear that Brexit will come with some sort of restrictions over the rights of people from the remaining 27 EU nations who wish to enter Britain. We must now wait and see how Theresa May’s government plans to deliver this.
OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK. If you need advice on Permanent Residence Cards or British Citizenship, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our dedicated immigration solicitors.