The United Kingdom’s post-Brexit immigration system will reportedly focus on immigrants’ skills instead of their country of origin.
According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the country’s immigration system will become fairer as it would be treating people equally regardless of where they come from.
“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,” Johnson said in his speech at the UK-Africa Investment Summit held in London on January 20.
New immigration system
The freedom of movement between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) is expected to cease after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, 2020. Currently, under the freedom of movement, EU citizens are not required to obtain a visa to work or study in the United Kingdom.
However, immigrants from outside the European Union are required to apply for UK work or study visas. The approval of a UK work visa depends on the applicant’s grasp of the English language, sponsorship by a company and salary offer, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The future system will be applicable to the whole of the United Kingdom – Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and all parts of England. The UK government says it will introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system by January 2021.
Under this system, non-UK residents looking to move to the United Kingdom for work will be assigned points, which will be based on a number of professional and personal characteristics such as education levels.
Focus on zero-carbon sources
In his speech, Johnson also vowed to halt “any new direct official development assistance, investment, export credit or trade promotion for thermal coal mining or coal power plants overseas.” “Not another penny of UK taxpayers’ money will be directly invested in digging up coal or burning it for electricity,” he said.
He noted that Britain was one of the most carbon-heavy nations in Europe a decade ago. The United Kingdom reportedly generated more energy from zero-carbon sources than fossil fuels in 2018 for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.
“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. Instead, we are going to focus on supporting the transition to lower- and zero-carbon alternatives,” Johnson added.