This week the Government finally announced how our new, points based immigration system will work - providing the basis for a new, outward looking Britain.
The UK will now have the opportunity to look beyond Europe for talented migrants, it will be able to re-engage with the Commonwealth and others who are quickly taking up the mantle of innovation and economic growth that today’s developed world is slowly a grip on. The blinkers can finally come off.
Despite the rhetoric from the left (and some on the right) that post-Brexit Britain will be introspective, insignificant and economically inept, our new immigration laws suggest something very much different. The EU’s free movement policy is a neo-colonial exercise in European supremacy. It values citizens of wealthy European countries head and shoulders above other nationalities and races purely on the basis of birthright. In a “woke” 2020, the pseudo-liberal left seems blind to the irony of fighting racism, yet supporting an immigration system that perpetuates it. The UK government has levelled the playing field - migrants will receive visas on the basis of merit, not whether they are Europeans.
The NHS and social care sector has been protected too, despite the Opposition’s accusations that the sector would be decimated. The Home Office has released a lengthy list of NHS jobs which will entitle applicants to a further 20 points, with social care roles to be added in the near future. Patel announced today that “We will exempt frontline workers in the health and social care sector and wider health workers from the requirement to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge" to further protect those frontline workers who have been so crucial in mitigating the social impact of Covid-19 in the past few months. There will be no mass exodus of front line workers here; EU citizens in the UK have the right to settled or pre-settled status and will be able to continue to live and pump money into the UK economy. Moving forward, talented migrants worldwide will have the opportunity to serve the NHS - the best and brightest will have the opportunity to come to the UK and not be discriminated against because they are not citizens of a majority-white European superstate.
The tourism sector has also received protections. The Home Office has announced that EU citizens will be able to enter the UK on six month visitor visas that are likely to be reciprocal. The 46% of tourists to the UK that come from the EU will continue to be able to visit and spend money in the UK economy with ease.
Possibly the most important part of the new immigration laws is a much forgotten one by many in the media. It will force companies to employ British workers whose current employment has been massacred by the financial impact of Covid-19. It is estimated that close to 3 million people will be left unemployed once the economy embarks the long road to some semblance of economic normality and, as a result, it is crucial that the UK economy employs hard working and driven Brits. The Conservative party has a proven track record on reducing unemployment and there is nothing to suggest that it won’t be able to find the same success again.
Britain’s future is becoming clearer - an opportunity to become a truly modern state that looks outside of Europe in an effort to identify the brightest stars worldwide. The roads are truly diverging between a discriminatory and borderline xenophobic free movement project within the EU and the forward thinking, meritocratic and level playing field that has been outlined by the Home Office.