connect with us

Express: UK ‘must ban unskilled migrants for five years’ to hit immigration target, says Woolfe

Date: 09 04 2017

UK ‘must ban unskilled migrants for five years’ to hit immigration target, says Woolfe

UNSKILLED migrant workers must be prevented from moving to the United Kingdom for five years if net migration targets are to be reached, according to a former Ukip leadership contender.

Steven Woolfe, who left the eurosceptic party after an “incident” in the European Parliament left him hospitalised, said the move is required in order to bring net migration figures down to 50,000 a year.

He suggested a new visa scheme which combines the Australian points-based system and plans for work permits would have to be rolled out after Britain leaves the .

Applicants would be assessed on their education, qualifications and suitability for work, according to Mr Woolfe’s report.

In a speech on Monday, the former Ukip spokesman will say: “With the UK on a path to leaving the European Union, the Government now has the moral responsibility to deliver the will of the British people.

“This report provides them with a blueprint for how they can do just that.

“We need an immigration system that is fair, flexible and forward-thinking. It must be fair in its outlook, flexible in practice and forward-thinking for our economy.

“Brexit is not about splendid isolation – it’s about re-engaging with the world, without our wings clipped by the European Union.

“This new British working visa system will deliver on the will of the electorate. It won’t mean pulling up the drawbridge, as we will continue to encourage the best and brightest to migrant and settle here.

“But by introducing strict controls, an annual cap and a five-year freeze on unskilled migrants, it will reduce net migration year-on-year, lessen the strain on our public services and help build a more cohesive society.”

Under Mr Woolfe’s recommendation for the British working visa system, there would be no cap on highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs and investors, however, unskilled workers would be blocked for five years.

Permits would only be granted if applicants have a job offer with a minimum salary of £35,000, passed an English test, signed a five-year private health insurance contract and have sufficient savings.

The report has attracted critics, with a former Conservative Cabinet minister moving to denounce Mr Woolfe’s announcement.

Owen Paterson said: “The overwhelming majority of Britons feel absolutely no resentment towards workers or students from overseas, recognising and valuing the skills and experience which they bring.

“But mass migration at its current level has fostered resentment, depressed wages and placed an excessive burden on our public services.”

Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Woolfe said: “I have worked with a number of people for a good period of time to produce this report, which, in my view, will be a template for this Government to achieve what the British people wanted: leaving the EU, keeping immigration, reducing the numbers and having ourselves open to the world.”

He concluded, stressing the importance to fund new “training programmes” to ensure any gaps in the job markets are plugged by British workers.

April 9th, 2017: Express