Brexit: how many immigrants will London agree to?

A draft of a new British immigration law has triggered harsh responses. The document leaked to The Guardian reveals significantly tougher regulations after Brexit. Lower-skilled migrants are to be given residency for a maximum of two years, and British businesses will be told to put British workers first. The plans are controversial within the British government, as well as in the media.

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The Irish Times (IE) /

Not the way to solve the problems

Toughening the regulations for immigrants is the wrong strategy, whether in Britain or the US, The Irish Times argues:

“Both Trump's move and the UK Home Office document make the same two mistakes. First, they rest on a common delusion: that, somehow, it is the presence of migrants that is chiefly responsible for society's current woes - as if globalisation, outsourcing and automation would all magically disappear if only there were fewer Romanians picking strawberries in Lincolnshire. This is the myth that Theresa May and Donald Trump are both selling, and it's a con.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

This is what the British public wants

The majority of the British want less immigration, writes The Daily Telegraph, defending the document:

“Proposals to place greater restrictions on low-skilled immigration are in line with consistent evidence from opinion studies showing the public are less favourable to lower-skilled entrants. Equally, signalling the end of what is termed 'unconditional free movement' in 2019, the paper suggests introducing new criminal record checks and restricting family reunification rights, responding to concerns on the impact of immigration on security and pressure on public services. Recent YouGov polling shows immigration remains the second most important issue for the public, so the government has a clear incentive to reflect public concerns in future policy.”

Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

A plan for the waste bin

Such an immigration policy would constitute a major break with the prevailing system of rights for EU citizens and won't be enforced, Deutschlandfunk predicts:

“Treating Poles or Spaniards as if they hailed from the remotest corners of the world while at the same time making a big thing out of wanting free trade with the EU - that simply doesn't jive. For that reason the home office's paper will end up in the wastepaper basket. It's said that even the home secretary thinks little of it, while pro-business members of the government are appalled. Prime Minister Theresa May herself, however, is considered a defender of a tough immigration policy. ... Now she's seeking an alliance with the Brexiteers, and that's why she's proposing a strict line.”