The new Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed today that he will ask the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to undertake a review of the Points Based System (PBS). Mr Johnson has for many years advocated the introduction of an “Australian-style” system as the mechanism for immigration control in a post-Brexit environment.
Given the change in leadership at number 10, it appears that future UK immigration policy is under review. It is highly unlikely that the MAC will be able to produce a further report prior to the 31st October 2019 which, we are told, is the definitive date of departure from the EU. Inevitably there will have to be a transitional period to new immigration arrangements, either in the way envisaged by the Withdrawal Agreement to 2021 or by unilateral domestic provisions.
The MAC has already recommended changes to PBS in the context of a new one-world immigration framework when freedom of movement of EU citizens disappears. There will be specific questions addressed by Government to the MAC and to understand the precise parameters of the commission of this new report.
In his statement today the Prime Minister reinforced his Government’s commitment to preserving the right to remain of EU nationals currently living in the UK regardless of the Brexit outcome. He also emphasised his liberal credentials on migration policy and the fact that he understands the economic benefits of migration.
The new Home Secretary, Priti Patel, will commission the MAC report in the coming days.
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