This week the government published its much delayed White paper on immigration, much of the delay due the disagreements in Cabinet itself. The paper suggested that in the future EU migrants will have to earn a minimum salary and job requiring A-level qualifications or above to be sponsored for a UK work visa. “Low-skilled” workers not meeting these criteria would be restricted to short-term visas of one year at a time. This will be “followed by a cooling off period of a further twelve months to prevent long-term working”. There will be “restrictions on nationalities, duration and possibly numbers”. The visa will not come with the right to claim benefits, bring family member, switch onto another visa or settle in the UK.
The paper also proposes the following to be implemented
Scrapping the current cap on the number of skilled workers such as doctors or engineers from the EU and elsewhere
A consultation on a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants seeking five-year visas
Visitors from the EU will not need visas
Plans to phase in the new system from 2021
An economic annex states that the effect of these changes would be to damage the British economy:
“We estimate these long-term work proposals could reduce the UK workforce by between 200,000 and 400,000 EEA nationals over the first five years, which we estimate could mean GDP is between 0.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent lower than it otherwise would have been in 2025. This represents a reduction in GDP per capita of between 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent in 2025.”
Mr Javid. Home Secretary , claims proposals would enable the UK to exercise control over its borders and "deliver on the clear instruction" of the British people when they voted to leave the EU.
The ending of free movement from Europe is a key part of Mrs May's Brexit deal, although any replacement system is set to be part of post-Brexit trade talks.