September 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm #2730
The cabinet unanimously supported a system based on skills rather than nationality, a source told the BBC.
But some fear that a bar on low-skilled EU migrants may damage business.
The prime minister has repeatedly vowed to end unlimited immigration from Europe after Brexit.
The cabinet agreement came after a presentation from the MAC chairman, Prof Alan Manning, at a lengthy meeting on Monday.
According to one source, the principle was agreed that the UK would not show bias towards immigrants from any one part of the world over another when granting access to work.
However, one cabinet source told the BBC the agreement did not constitute a firm decision and a government source said there could be “light touch migration” rules for EU nationals as part of any wider Brexit trade deal.
The government does not call this “preferential” treatment because a similar arrangement could be struck with, for example, the US as part of a UK-US trade deal.
What is the Migration Advisory Committee?
An independent public body, the MAC was commissioned by the Home Office to advise the government on migration issues
The panel is made up of Prof Manning and five other independent economists, along with a Home Office representative
It reports on issues including the impacts of immigration, the limits on immigration under the points-based system, and skills shortages within occupations
The EU’s principle of freedom of movement currently allows people from the European Economic Area – all EU countries, as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – plus Switzerland, to travel and work within the area without visas, regardless of skills.
The UK is due to withdraw from the European Union on 29 March next year, although an “implementation period” lasting until 31 December 2020 has been agreed as part of the proposed Brexit deal being negotiated between the UK and the EU. Canon Support
In that transition period, EU citizens arriving in the UK would enjoy . The same would apply to UK expats on the continent.
It remains unclear what would happen in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, as the transition period would not then happen and the new migration system would, government sources say, have to be “tapered in” because it would not be ready by March.
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