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Migration Advisory Committee report signals ‘small growth’ UK post-Brexit immigration system

28 January 2020

Immigration system report urges Government avoid ‘past mistakes.’ The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) hasn’t recommended a full Australian-style points-based system as the government has trailed, but a mix- more flexible salary thresholds for those with a job-offer and a points-based system for those coming to the UK without a job.

“We estimate very small increases in GDP per capita and productivity, slightly improved public finances, slightly reduced pressures on the NHS, schools and on social housing, though slightly increased pressure on social care,” announced Professor Alan Manning, unveiling the long-awaited MAC report, offering some insight into what a post-Brexit, points-based UK immigration system could look like.

The MAC was commissioned by Home Secretary Priti Patel to compile evidence, research and review how an Australian-style points-based (PBS) immigration system could be introduced in the UK, to strengthen the UK labour market post-Brexit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Priti Patel had alluded to such a system with no explanation of how it would work or how it would benefit the UK economy.

The report has recommended a system less like the Australian-style system, but more of a mixed system, with minimum salary thresholds for those people coming to the UK with a job offer, and a points-based system only for people arriving without a pre-arranged job offer. “Talented people” would be able to apply for a work visa under the new points-based system.

Boris Johnson is not obliged to accept the committee’s recommendations. However, it is likely to inform the Government’s immigration policy having gathered evidence on how these changes would work for UK businesses and the economy.