January 28, 2020
Boris Johnson was thrust into power last summer by a Conservative party desperate for someone to sort out the Brexit mess left by Theresa May.
How Experts Think Boris Johnson Should Manage Immigration After Brexit
The prime minister’s primary mission was to get Britain out of the EU, but he also wanted to fulfil one of the key pledges of the Vote Leave campaign he spearheaded - to “take back control” of immigration.
For Johnson, this means replacing the mixture of free movement for EU citizens and controls on migrants from the rest of the world with an Australian-style points-based immigration for all, as pledged by Vote Leave.
To this end, he asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in autumn to conduct a review of the Australian immigration system and similar systems to advise the government on how to proceed after Brexit. 
The report was published today. What does it say?In a move that could cause friction with ministers, the report rejected the idea of introducing a points-based system for immigration across the board.
Briefing reporters, MAC chair Professor Alan Manning said no country applies a points-based system as its “only route for work migration” and suggested it might be difficult to introduce in time for the end of the Brexit transition in December 2020 
He said Johnson may still call it an Australian-style points-based system for a “soundbite” to summarise the government’s position publicly, but that this would “only be cosmetic”. For immigrants with a job offer, MAC did not recommend changing the system conceived by Tony Blair and then introduced by Gordon Brown in 2008, which combines salary thresholds with skill eligibility criteria, arguing it “works well for an employer-driven system”.
As part of this it argued that the main salary threshold should be cut from the controversial £30,000 to £25,600 for migrants coming to the UK with a job offer. 
It only recommends introducing a points-based system for skilled migrants without a job offer - to replace the exceptional talent visa which sets the bar for entry “far too high” and is “targeted at those at the very top of their field and is too risk averse”.
For this route, MAC recommends a system whereby potential migrants register their interest to come to the UK, with monthly invitations issued to people in that pool.
Their selection should be based on a tradeable points-based system based on their characteristics such as age, skills and qualifications. 
More points could be allocated to specific types of migrant labour the government wants.
For example, Johnson’s chief of staff Dominic Cummings may favour those with science or maths qualifications.
The report does not look at low-skilled migration, on which the government is expected to impose stringent controls outside areas where workers are needed, such as fruit-picking.
 What does it mean for the country? The combination of ending free movement for EU citizens, imposing salary thresholds and introducing a points-based system would reduce immigration and the total population but also hit economic growth through lower gross domestic product (GDP), MAC said.
The report said it also expected such a system to “very slightly increase” GDP per capita, while forecasting a small boost to productivity and an improvement in the public finances, “though these estimates are more uncertain”.It’s not saying that people’s living standards will go upThe changes will also reduce pressure on the NHS, schools and social housing, but increase pressure on social care, increase the ratio of dependent children and elderly people to workers, and “have larger impacts on some sectors and areas than others”.
Briefing reporters, Manning said the new system would have essentially “zero” impact on employment opportunities and wages for British workers, and said GDP per capita would only rise because the mix of people in the economy was changing.
“It’s not saying that people’s living standards will go up,” he said. 
“Immigration hasn’t really harmed people’s employment opportunities or their wages but equally it hasn’t really benefitted it very much either.”But will the government go ahead with it?The report was released in unusual circumstances, with Manning making clear in the foreword that he had been sacked as MAC chair against his will.
There was also a muted response from ministers, who are expected to bring forward a new immigration bill within weeks, suggesting the government might be cold on MAC’s recommendations.
A Number 10 spokesman insisted the government would introduce a “firmer and fairer points-based immigration system” from 2021. 
“We will carefully consider the report before setting out further details on the new system,” they added.
Having made an Australian-style system a key manifesto pledge, Johnson may look to do something more radical.Related... Post-Brexit 'Points-Based' Immigration System 'Will Reduce Economic Growth' Boris Johnson Defies Donald Trump By Giving Huawei Access To UK 5G Network
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