Yesterday, the Queen made a speech which contained details of rather large scale reforms brought in by the Conservative government. More than a third of the new and returning bills are directly involved with new arrangements following Brexit.


The proposed immigration bill highlights its purpose to bring an end to free movement and will lay the foundation for a fair, modern and global immigration system. It is similar to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill published in December 2018, but with new additions:


  • The power to align the treatment of EU citizens arriving after January 2021 with non-EU citizens in order to deliver a single global immigration system based on people’s skills.
  • Confirming the deadline for applications to be made under the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • Giving EU citizens and their family members who apply a right of appeal against EU Settlement Scheme decisions (as currently only administrative reviews available).



The Queen went on to say that the benefits of these changes would include paving the way for a new and more effective Points Based System, which would mean the UK attracting only the brightest and best people who will strengthen the country. Free movement as it currently stands will end on 31 October 2019. The new system is so be fully in place by 2021.


Priti Patel and the Points Based System:


Home Secretary Priti Patel spoke yesterday about this new Points Based System, a plan that we have heard about before in the recent past.


Under a new points-based system, people will be allowed to live and work in the UK if they score highly enough on measures including education, salary level, and skills. Younger workers will also be seen as more appealing than ones in their middle to later years.


Patel has been inspired by the Australian system which awards 20 points for skilled migrants with ‘superior’ English and ten points for those who are ‘proficient’ in the language. Those with just ‘competent’ English do not score any points.


Similarly, migrants whose occupations are considered highly skilled and in-demand such as doctors, nurses or computer programmers, also score more points.


Spreading immigrants around the UK:


Of course, many people come to the UK with the idea solidified in their mind that they will be living in the capital.


Part of the new plans mean that immigrants coming to the UK will be rewarded if they are willing to live in less affluent parts of the country. The aim of this plan is to make sure that the deprived areas of the country which backed Brexit receive a fair share of the influx of skilled staff from overseas.


A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said:


“We’re in the early days of drawing up the new points-based immigration system, but are thinking about how it could be designed to make sure places other than London feel the benefits.”


Other announcements:


The government separately plans to legislate for tougher sentences for foreign criminals who re-enter the UK in breach of a deportation order. This generally points to a less lenient government when it comes to foreign nationals coming to the UK and being committed of criminal offences.


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