Britain to close borders to non-English speakers, unskilled workers

FPI / February 20, 2020

Post-Brexit Great Britain plans to close its borders to those who can’t speak English and to unskilled workers, reports say.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. / YouTube

The move is part of the administration of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s overhaul of immigration laws aimed at ending the era of cheap EU labor in the UK’s factories, warehouses, hotels and restaurants, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

UK officials say they are delivering on the Brexit electorate’s demands on immigration.

The government released a 10-page briefing on new immigration policy, which includes:

• UK borders will be closed to non-skilled workers – and all migrants will have to speak English.
• Anyone wanting to come to the UK to work must have a job offer with a salary threshold of £25,600 – though a salary “floor” of £20,480 will be acceptable in special cases where there might be a skills shortage, such as in nursing.
• There will be no route for self-employed people coming into the UK, spelling the end to, for example, Polish plumbers or Romanian builders arriving without a job.
• Border control will no longer accept ID cards from countries such as France and Italy. This, it is understood, is an attempt to clamp down on non-EU workers beating the system with forged or stolen ID cards.
• The skills threshold for foreign nationals wanting to work in the UK will be lowered from degree to A-levels or their equivalent. The cap on the numbers of skilled workers is being scrapped – and a small number of highly skilled workers will be allowed to come in without a job.
• The right of artists, entertainers, sports people and musicians to enter for performances, competitions and auditions will be retained.

With its 80-strong majority, the Johnson government’s immigration policy is expected to ease through parliament in the coming months.

“UK businesses will need to adapt and adjust to the end of free movement, and we will not seek to recreate the outcomes from free movement within the points-based system,” said the government in a briefing paper.

It also said that employers would have to work harder to recruit and retain British staff.

“It is important that employers move away from a reliance on the UK’s immigration system and as alternative to investment in staff retention, productivity, and wider investment in technology and automation,” the briefing paper added.

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