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27 June 2019

Immigration comes to the forefront of Tory Leadership Race

2 mins

Boris Johnson’s latest pledge in the Conservative Party leadership race is to tackle immigration. His solution – an Australian-style points based system. This is a curious suggestion by Mr Johnson when the UK already has a points based immigration system. The points based system was first introduced to the UK in November 2008.The system was separated into Tiers, numbered 1-5, with each Tier gradually being introduced to the UK Immigration Rules (with the exception of Tier 3 which never opened). The system was intended to deliver on successive governments’ promises to control migration to the UK, with a focus on encouraging highly skilled migrants to the UK. Since its introduction, the system has gradually seen an erosion of the points based aspect of the system, with the Home Office introducing subjective ‘genuineness’ tests. Furthermore, certain migration routes within the system have been closed, less than 10 years after being introduced. As prospective Prime Minister, it would not be unreasonable to expect Mr Johnson to be aware of the immigration systems already in place in the UK. And it is a shame he cannot come up with some new ideas to improve the system both for migrants coming to the UK to work and for those employing them rather than trying to rehash old ideas, already in force.

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