Post-Brexit migrants will have to speak English and have qualifications

UK provided details on the new immigration rules.

The UK provided details on the new rules for post-Brexit immigration, which will hinder access for EU citizens and impose requirements, such as speaking English, qualifications and a minimum wage of £ 25,600 (€ 30,800). “We are going to put in place a system that works in the interest of the whole UK and prioritizes the skills that a person has to offer, not where they come from. For too long, distorted by the right of European free movement, the immigration system has not responded to the needs of the British people”, says the government.

Under the new system, candidates must fulfill requirements that guarantee a minimum of 70 points, such as speaking English well (10 points), having a job offer (20 points) or, as a minimum academic qualification, the 12th grade or higher (20 points). The job offer must guarantee a minimum wage of £ 25,600 (20 points), or less, of £ 20,480 (€ 24,700), for jobs with a shortage of labor, such as nursing or if candidates have a PhD. The government admits specific rules for certain sectors, such as scientific research or agriculture, having now quadrupled the number of authorized seasonal workers, from 2,500 to 10,000, who can be hired by agri-food companies, under a parallel system.

The new points immigration system aims to be implemented in early 2021, when the transition period ends after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, which extended European freedom of movement until the end of December. Currently, more than three million EU citizens live in the UK, hundreds of thousands of whom work in sectors such as agriculture, health and relatively low-wage restaurants. Employers in these industries fear a shortage of workers due to stricter immigration rules.

The UK Home Assistance Association described the lack of provisions for low-paid immigrant workers in the proposals as “irresponsible”. “Cutting the supply of professionals in treatment under a new migration system will pave the way for more people who wait unnecessarily in the hospital or are left unattended”, he said. Labor Party MP Diane Abbott pointed to the “defects” of the new system, because “it will need to have so many exemptions for the national health service, for social assistance and many parts of the private sector that it will no longer make sense”.

For Liberal Democrats, Congresswoman Christine Jardine denounced the proposals as “based on xenophobia, not on the social and economic needs of our country” and stressed the short time of ten months for companies and organizations to adapt.

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