EU referendum: Boris and Gove promise tough Australian-style immigration points system after Brexit

Migrants must learn English and have relevant employment skills, Leave campaigners say

Gove on immigration

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have pledged to introduce a "genuine Australian-style points-based immigration system" before the next general election if the UK votes for a Brexit at the referendum on 23 June.

Prospective migrants to the UK must learn to speak English and have relevant skills for a job, the leading Leave campaigners have said, setting out the rules they hope to introduce if Britain votes to leave the EU.

The pledge from the campaign group is the first major effort at forming policy for a post-Brexit government and represents a bold challenge to David Cameron’s authority.

EU Referendum: Latest Poll

In a joint statement, also signed by employment minister Priti Patel and Labour’s Gisela Stuart, the MPs say a points system is the only way to "restore public trust in immigration policy".

If the UK votes to leave the EU, the "automatic right of all EU citizens to come and live and work in the UK will end", they say.

"Those seeking entry for work or study should be admitted on the basis of their skills without discrimination on the ground of nationality. To gain the right to work, economic migrants will have to be suitable for the job in question. For relevant jobs, we will be able to ensure that all those who come have the ability to speak good English," the statement adds.

Australia uses a dual immigration selection scheme including employer sponsorship programmes and the skilled migration visa, which is based on a points system.

Skilled migration visas are only granted if applicants pass a test related to employment prospects, skills, education, and English language skills. Applicants must also be under 50-years-old.

The announcement from the Leave campaign follows a referendum poll giving the Brexit camp a narrow lead with less than a month until the vote.

The Guardian/ICM poll, which carried out both online and telephone questioning, indicated a 52 per cent lead for Leave.

Responding to the Leave campaign’s proposal, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who has been a long-time advocate of the Australian points system, tweeted: “Everything I've said on immigration, for which I've been condemned, is now mainstream. I now believe we will win this referendum.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in