PM pledges ‘more equal’ immigration system

The UK will put "people before passports" in its new, post-Brexit immigration system, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday at the UK-Africa Investment Summit.

The UK will put "people before passports" in its new, post-Brexit immigration system, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
Opening the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told leaders from 21 African nations that ending free movement with the EU would enable the proposed points-based immigration system to be fairer to countries around the globe.Pledging to be a partner "through thick and thin" with African nations, the PM said, "Change is coming and our system is becoming fairer and more equal between all our global friends and partners, treating people the same, wherever they come from."By putting people before passports, we will be able to attract the best talent from around the world, wherever they may be."We want to build a new future as a global free-trading nation, that's what we will be embarking on January 31. But I want to intensify and expand that trade in ways that go far beyond what we sell you or you sell us."

UK withdraws assistance from coal programmes

Mr Johnson also said that, in the fight against climate change, the UK was ending direct official development assistance, investment and export credit to coal programmes."There's no point in the UK reducing the amount of coal we burn if we then trundle over to Africa and line our pockets by encouraging African states to use more of it," he said."To put it simply, not another penny of UK taxpayers' money will be directly invested in digging up coal or burning it for electricity."

Could the proposed UK points-based immigration system be moved forward?

Meanwhile, the Daily Express reported that Home Secretary Priti Patel wanted the proposed points-based immigration system to be introduced into the UK by the end of this year, rather than by the end of 2022, as originally proposed.The newspaper said Ms Patel would tell Cabinet colleagues that Britain needs to coincide introduction of the new with the end of the planned transition out of EU on 31 December.Theresa May, the former prime minister, had promised business groups that there would be a two-year extension of the existing rules after the end of the transition period to enable companies to adapt to the new system.But Ms Patel apparently wants a speedy end to the existing system to restrict the entry of low-skilled migrants into the country.
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The Express quoted a government source as saying, "We need to deliver change and businesses need to be prepared for uncontrolled migration of low-skilled workers to end this year."There is a clear drive for talented and skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK, but we also need to see a reduction in the number of unskilled workers entering the UK and that's why this will be coming to an end."

Read more news and views from David Sapsted

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