Low-skilled migrants into the UK – including those from Europe – will receive no preferential treatment when free movement from the EU ends, the British government says.
People looking to work in the UK will also need a job offer with a minimum designated salary, and to be able to speak good English.
The new UK policy statement on immigration promises to reduce overall numbers, and introduce a “points-based system” to end “a reliance on cheap labour from Europe”.
“EU citizens and non-EU citizens will be treated equally” from January 1, 2021 after the post-Brexit transition period expires, the document says.”We will not introduce a general low-skilled or temporary work route.”
A recent study found that under the proposed changes, 70 percent of the current EU workforce in the UK would be barred from entering in future.
The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31 this year, but most existing arrangements – including free movement between the EU and UK – remain in place during this phase.
Speak English to “required level”
The new measures to attract skilled workers mean potential migrants into the UK will need to demonstrate that they speak English to a “required level”.
They will also need a job offer “from an approved sponsor… at the required skill level”, and to earn more than a minimum salary threshold. The government has agreed to reduce this to £25,600 (€30,843).
In occupations identified as having staff shortages, lower minimum earnings of £20,480 (€24,682) are accepted. The same applies to applicants with a suitable PhD.
Read more: euronews