Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun, January 22, 2020
Boris Johnson is set to scrap a £30,000 salary rule for immigrants coming to Britain and replace it with an Australian-style system.
But unskilled immigrants will still be restricted from coming to Britain within 12 months, Downing Street has signalled.
Former PM Theresa May had planned to allow a long transition period before a new system is enforced after Brexit.
Under her blueprint, the current level of new arrivals would last until 2022 in a concession to worried businesses in sectors like hospitality who feared a collapse in their workforce.
But Boris Johnson unveiled a rethink to the Cabinet yesterday as a new plan for Britain’s borders was discussed by his top table of ministers.
One of the three key principles that will drive it is reducing low skilled migration, No10 said.
Migrants’ earnings are expected to be taken into account alongside their ability to speak English, qualifications, and current job.
The PM’s official spokesman said: “This is a new government The new system will come into force in January next year”.
The spokesman added: “The PM said the public have been clear that they want us to end freedom of movement and take back control of our borders and it is our duty to deliver on this promise”.
The independent Migration Advisory Council has been tasked by ministers to study the need for a salary bar of £30,000 a year to ensure new arrivals are skilled.
It will report back next week, and new laws to set up the new immigration system will be rushed through Parliament in March, No10 added.
Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith, warned that it could make it more difficult for the prime minister to fulfil his pledge to cut migration. He said: “They should be cautious about ditching the £30,000 threshold. They will need to have very strong checks in place to ensure that they deliver on their pledge to control immigration.”
The Tories also promised to cut the current level of net immigration in their election manifesto, which is running at around 200,000 a year.
But PM has not said by how much.