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Low-skilled EU migrants face tough new rules at start of 2021

Ministers will impose tough new rules on low-skilled EU immigrants immediately after Brexit transition ends in 2021

  • Theresa May had suggested phasing in restrictions on low-skilled EU workers
  • Government planning to bring in new rules immediately after Brexit transition 
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel due to present paper on system to Cabinet this week 

Ministers will impose tough new restrictions on low-skilled immigrants from the EU immediately after the Brexit transition ends.

The government will not delay its overhaul of the rules beyond January 2021, despite previous indications from Theresa May that there could be a two-year standstill to avoid hitting businesses.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is due to present a paper on the shape of the new scheme to Cabinet this week. 

Boris Johnson has put introducing an Australian-style points-based system at the heart of his Brexit policy.

He made clear during the election campaign that lower-skilled workers would be prevented from moving to the UK unless there is are ‘specific shortages’ of labour in their sector. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured in London last week) is due to present a paper on the shape of the new immigration scheme to Cabinet this week

However, the immigration White Paper published in 2018, when Mrs May was PM and Sajid Javid was home secretary, suggested there could be a phased implementation.

It acknowledged the ‘challenges faced’ by some employers who would ‘find it difficult immediately to adapt’.

However, No 10 source told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘We need to deliver change and businesses need to be prepared for uncontrolled migration of low-skilled workers to end this year.’  

The tough line was confirmed after Mr Javid, now Chancellor, warned businesses that the UK will not be a ‘rule taker’ and align with EU regulations.

He said manufacturers have had more than three years to prepare for Britain’s transition and urged businesses to ‘adjust’.

In an interview with the Financial Times last week, he said: ‘There will not be alignment, we will not be a rule taker, we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union – and we will do this by the end of the year.

‘We’re… talking about companies that have known since 2016 that we are leaving the EU.

‘Admittedly they didn’t know the exact terms.’

But the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) warned that no regulatory alignment with the EU after Brexit could lead to price rises. 

Boris Johnson (pictured at a summit in Berlin today) has put introducing an Australian-style points-based system at the heart of his Brexit policy

 

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