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It was the central issue of the 2016 EU referendum, and now nearly four years later one of the leaders of the Brexit campaign has finally set out how the UK will “take back control” of its borders.
The new points-based system will end the free movement of EU citizens and bring overall immigration numbers down, she said.
But who will be coming here once the Brexit transition ends in December, how will they qualify, and will it hurt the UK’s economy?
The key questions are answered here:
Broadly speaking, EU citizens will no longer be able to enjoy free movement into the UK and will have to get a visa under the same immigration rules as non-EU migrants if they want to work or study here.
This means there is no route at all for low-skilled immigration from anywhere in the world, apart from seasonal agricultural workers, and this essentially amounts to a massive tightening up of the rules for EU citizens.
But at the same time Patel is relaxing the rules for skilled migrants to come into the UK, which will make it easier for people to come from places like India, Australia or Canada.
This includes lowering the minimum salary required from £30,000 to £25,600, and lowering what counts as “skilled” from a graduate-level to an A-level qualified job.
Alongside the traditional “skilled” jobs, lowering the skill threshold will open the UK up to the likes of painters, decorators, tilers, carpenters, joiners, plasterers, glaziers, window fitters and child minders from outside the EU.
EU citizens with similar medium-skilled jobs will also be able to come, but the likes of labourers, waiters, waitresses and baristas that have come from Europe in the past will be barred from Britain.