High-skilled migrants will
take preference over EU
citizens after Brexit

Following the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s report last week on the future of EU citizens after Brexit, the Cabinet has agreed not to give preferential treatment to EU workers once the UK leaves the EU.

Instead, their focus will be attracting high-skilled migrants.

But after listening to concerns from businesses in low-paid industries who fear that they will not be able to attract workers, the plan will also allow certain low-skilled migrants to enter the country. This will benefit jobs within certain sectors including agriculture and hospitality but not all.

However, perhaps not surprisingly, ministers are reserving the right to change their mind if Britain agrees a trade deal with EU.

A spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s office said that her government would ‘ introduce a new system which works in the best interests of the United Kingdom – including by helping to boost productivity.’

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg commented: ‘Ending freedom of movement as it stands has become a rhetorical non-negotiable for Theresa May.’

The MAC suggested that after the end of free movement, the annual limit or cap on the numbers of high-skilled migrants who come to the UK is scrapped. As we have previously reported, this policy previously caused visas to be denied to potential employees and shortages in essential roles within the NHS and IT. It also led to specialist areas in science and engineering having difficulty in filling vital vacancies.

It is thought that the PM will make an official announcement about her immigration policy during the Conservative Party Conference, which starts this Sunday.

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