William Schomberg, Reuters, September 24, 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers have agreed to focus Britain’s post-Brexit migration system on high-skilled migrants and will not offer preference to European Union workers, newspapers said.
In a nod to the concerns of businesses, the plan backed by May’s cabinet on Monday would also allow some access for low-skilled foreign workers, the newspapers said.
Last week, official advisers recommended prioritizing high-skilled migrant workers coming to Britain after Brexit, alarming companies in low-paid sectors. They also said there should be no preferential treatment for workers from the EU.
The Financial Times said that while ministers backed the advisers’ proposals, the idea of giving no preferential treatment to EU workers could change if Britain agrees a trade deal with the bloc.
With little more than six months to go before Britain leaves the EU, London and Brussels remain at loggerheads on what their future relationship will look like, and May has insisted on new controls for migrant workers from the bloc.
Earlier, May’s office said the ministers had agreed that Britain would be able to “introduce a new system which works in the best interests of the United Kingdom – including by helping to boost productivity.”
The government’s advisers said in their report that evidence suggested high-skilled migrants had a more positive impact on productivity than lower-skilled workers from abroad.