Robert Jenrick at a Policy Exchange fringe event where he was asked about limiting the number of immigrants. Photo: Ioannis Alexopoulos/London News Pictures < p>The UK's migrant intake system is more liberal than the European Union's, the immigration minister has said, saying he is “not opposed to the idea” of limiting the number of migrants.
Robert Jenrick said the immigration points system introduced by Boris Johnson after Brexit had resulted in an “unsustainable” number of migrants coming to the UK legally and suggested some decisions were “naive”.
Speaking at an additional meeting in the UK At the Tory conference in Manchester, Mr Jenrick said “significant and sustainable” cuts were needed because there were too many low- and medium-skilled foreign workers taking jobs that should be done by British people.
He is working with Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, on potential measures to reduce net migration, which reached a record 606,000 last year and is expected to top one million in two years when data is released on November 23. by more than two years, twice as much as before Brexit.
Net migration over two years
Mr Jenrick told the policy exchange meeting that consideration was being given to increasing the wage threshold for foreign skilled workers from £26,200 to around £34,500. . This would prevent migrants from getting low-paid jobs and force employers to invest in training British staff.
He also suggested that the number of foreign care workers, currently 120,000 a year, could be reduced and that there will be further restrictions on migrants bringing their families to the UK.
Mr Jenrick has not ruled it out. the possibility of an Australian-style force cap when it was suggested by Alexander Downer, the country's former foreign minister, who was in the audience. He previously advised the government on border control.
The Immigration Secretary admitted he was “nervous” about the controversial idea that the Home Office would “dictate to each sector of society how many workers can come.”He added: “It does seem quite risky to me and quite a statist approach, but I'm not against the idea of limitation – that's the honest answer.”
📺 @RobertJenrick criticizes the liberalism of the UK's post-Brexit legal immigration system and sets out the government's plans for the future. #CPC23 pic.twitter.com/9KA4BRWapB
— Policy Exchange (@Policy_Exchange) October 2, 2023
As part of the fight against illegal migration, the government has already committed to introducing restrictions on refugees arriving legally in the UK and safe routes.
The call to reduce net migration creates a potential clash between the Home Office and the Treasury, which are promoting the economic benefits of migration.
Rishi Sunak has previously sided with the Treasury in resisting Home Office calls for a wider cap on net migration. Earlier this year, restrictions were limited by banning postgraduate students, other than those involved in research, from bringing their families to the UK.
However, Mr Jenrick said current rates of net migration were putting “unsustainable” pressure on housing and local populations. services.
“What we got wrong was that immediately after leaving the EU we created a legal migration system which was, if anything, more liberal than the system we had when we were in the EU,” – he added.
2605 net migration
He warned that the post-Brexit system was “not working” and said: “For many years now we have had an economic model that is reliant on low- and semi-skilled staff. people come.
“This did not improve productivity. This did not lead to an increase in GDP per capita. If that happened, we would be one of the richest countries in the world.
“That's why we need to now complete the revolution we started with Brexit, not just by taking back control of these levers, but actually using them so that we can make our own smart choices and reduce the amount of legal migration into the country.”