Home secretary Priti Patel released plans to curb immigration and end freedom of movement on Monday.
The plans will see the border closed to those who don’t speak English or are considered “low skilled” workers on 1 January 2021.
Patel wants the British immigration system to become points-based.
Points will be given based on criteria such as having a PhD, earning over £22,000 a year and speaking English. People offered jobs in certain industries, such as nursing and civil engineering, would get extra points.
Only those who reach 70 points or higher will be able to settle in Britain. “Now we have left the European Union (EU), we are free to unleash this country’s full potential,” said Patel.
She said the Tories were ready to “implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and deliver a new fairer, firmer, skills-led system”.
Under the proposals, EU nationals as well as migrants from outside the EU will be stripped of freedom of movement and will instead be subject to the new system.
The new controls will make it harder for many migrants to come and work in Britain.
In some sectors, such as health and social care, the effect is likely to be catastrophic.
The Tories’ “health and care visa” offers reduced application fees and fast track industry to those applying.
Yet despite its name, this visa will not apply to care workers.
Unison union assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said, “Refusing to include care workers in the new NHS visa is a disastrous mistake that will make existing problems spiral.”
Workers in the health service are already at breaking point battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Workers in the health service are already at breaking point battling the coronavirus pandemic. Patel’s plans are likely to leave the NHS struggling to cope.
But migrants can’t be reduced to just how much they contribute to the NHS, the care sector, or the British economy more generally.
In a move to further strengthen Britain’s borders Patel and the French interior minister Gerald Darmanin met last Sunday.
They discussed how to make it more difficult and dangerous for refugees to cross the English Channel.
Their meeting came three days after over 500 people were evicted from the Calais refugee camp in the early hours of last Friday.
Clare Moseley, Care for Calais founder, said, “These evictions are purely political and appear to be a direct response to Patel’s calls for action following recent attempted Channel crossings.”
The next day migrants were rescued after their boat collapsed in a desperate bid to enter Britain. French authorities reported intercepting at least 21 people in three boats on Saturday.
Tighter immigration controls will make it more difficult for migrants to come to Britain.
And they will make it more likely that some people will risk their lives in dinghies or refrigerated lorries to try and get across the border.
Socialists should oppose all immigration controls and reject the poisonous idea pushed by the Tories’ points-based system that there are “good” and “bad” migrants
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