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Express: Bid to cut low-skilled migration by training Britain’s unemployed wins Brexiteers backing

Date: 26 11 2017

Bid to cut low-skilled migration by training Britain’s unemployed wins Brexiteers backing

SENIOR Brexiteers have backed plans to stop low-skilled migration from the EU and introduce a new work permit system post-Brexit.

The proposals by Leave Means Leave, which would cut net migration to mid-1990s levels by training unemployed Britons, are being considered by the Government.

The paper suggests the Government should be retraining the 800,000 16 to 24-year-olds who are jobless or inactive.

The plans have been backed by former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex-Brexit minister David Jones ahead of publication of a Government white paper on migration.

The report suggests there should be no cap on highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs from the EU.

It recommends adopting the work permit system used for non-EU countries as companies are already familiar with it, ending the unequal treatment of highly skilled migrants from non-EU countries. 

Both doctors and nurses would qualify as highly skilled workers and would therefore be able to continue to come to the UK under the work permit scheme.

The current shortage occupation list for non-EU citizens seeking work includes medics, engineers and even classical ballet dancers.

The generous benefits enjoyed by EU citizens would come to an end as only those granted permanent residence would be eligible for social benefits, housing benefits and social housing.

To address the needs of the agricultural and horticultural sectors, the paper calls for a revival of the seasonal agricultural workers scheme which would allow a short-term, six-month migration visa.

There would be visa-free travel for EU tourists after Brexit and students from the EU would be able to study here.

The paper calls for an upgrade to Border Force technology and systems used to monitor those entering the UK.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “This is a sensible set of proposals that would deliver on the Brexit mandate both to take back control of borders and bring down net levels of migration.”

Mr Jones said: “The Leave Means Leave paper puts forward sensible immigration control policies that will safeguard the interests of EU nationals already resident in the UK whilst ensuring that business continues to obtain the supply of skilled labour that it needs.

“This is a thoughtful document that offers practical solutions to a problem that has bedevilled Governments for many decades.”

Richard Tice, co-chairman of Leave Means Leave added: “EU policy has led to suppression of wages for British workers over the past decade with zero real wage growth.

“We are proposing a policy that addresses the views of the public, the needs of business and the economy, the impact on the population and public services as well as international obligations.”

November 26th, 2017: Express