Amidst the ongoing Brexit negotiations, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has emphasized the need for Britain to take a more strategic approach to immigration. The government, he argues, has been “naïve” in its handling of legal immigration since the 2016 vote and must now reevaluate its policies to reduce the strain on public services and control net migration.
To achieve these goals, the government is considering substantial changes to the current immigration system. One proposal under discussion is the introduction of a minimum earnings requirement for work visas, potentially set at £34,528. This measure aims to ensure that migrants have the necessary skills and qualifications to contribute effectively to the UK economy. Additionally, there may be restrictions on the number of family members foreign workers can bring with them, as well as potential reforms to the care visa route.
Addressing the need for these changes, Jenrick explained that the current salary threshold for high-skilled workers is inadequate and should be increased to reflect the median salary in the country. Furthermore, he expressed concerns over the high number of people entering the UK through the care visa route, urging careful consideration of this issue. Finally, he emphasized the importance of controlling the ability to bring family members into the UK, particularly if the sponsoring individual lacks the resources to support them adequately.
Jenrick believes that Brexit provides an opportunity for Britain to protect its borders and make informed decisions about immigration. The country possesses the necessary levers to manage its legal migration system and must exercise them to safeguard its borders, sovereignty, and economic interests. He acknowledges that the current model is flawed and that a significant overhaul is required to reduce the level of legal migration.
However, it is important to strike a balance. While controlling net migration is a legitimate concern, the government must also ensure that the UK remains an attractive destination for high-skilled individuals who can contribute to its economy and society. Striking this balance will be crucial to achieving the desired level of control and managing the country’s migration system effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What changes are being considered for the UK’s immigration system?
The government is considering several changes, including the introduction of a minimum earnings requirement for work visas, potential restrictions on family members accompanying foreign workers, and reforms to the care visa route.
Why does the government believe these changes are necessary?
The government believes that these changes are necessary to reduce pressure on public services, restore control over the immigration system, and ensure that migrants possess the required skills and qualifications to contribute effectively to the UK economy.
How does Brexit factor into these proposed changes?
Brexit has provided the opportunity for Britain to regain control over its immigration system. The government aims to exercise this control to protect its borders, sovereignty, and make informed decisions about who enters the country.
What is the government’s approach to balancing control and attracting high-skilled individuals?
While controlling net migration is a priority, the government acknowledges the importance of attracting high-skilled individuals to contribute to the UK. Striking a balance between control and attracting talent will be crucial in managing the immigration system effectively.