UK moves to limit immigration

The British government has plans for a new immigration law to apply after Brexit. Visas for work migrants would be limited to one year unless they earn more than 30,000 pounds (roughly 33,000 euros), in which case they would receive a five-year visa. Some commentators say the legislation would increase exploitation of foreign workers. Others see the plans as a step towards a fairer system.

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The Sun (GB) /

Less competition from cheap foreign labour

The Sun praises the plans:

“We also back a £30,000 pay threshold on most semi-skilled workers and more severe curbs on low-skilled ones except where the economy needs them. That is what taking back control meant. A salary threshold can regulate flows. It must be high enough to wean our firms off cheap foreign labour, so they can hire Brits and pay them more.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Exploited instead of integrated

Gazeta Wyborcza, on the other hand, complains that future immigrants to Britain won't have the same rights as those who live there now:

“Many who went to London or Manchester after 2004 [when Poland joined the EU] started off washing dishes. Over time their English improved, they made friends with their neighbours and colleagues, bought houses and cars, and sent their children to British schools. Today they often have good jobs. It's sad that those who come after them and no longer benefit from integration incentives or the right to stay in the country for a prolonged period won't have the same opportunities. They'll be exploited as cheap labour and will have to return to the continent obediently after a fixed period of time.”

New Statesman (GB) /

Not a policy for sustainability

The British government is deterring the very people it should be welcoming to Britain, the New Statesman also criticises:

“Increasing the number of time-limited 12-month visas of course means that most immigrants to Britain will be transitory, and making it harder for people to bring loved ones means that they will not put down roots or bother to integrate into society. Those contemplating studying in the United Kingdom will be discouraged by the prospect of being turfed out as soon as they've been handed their degree, especially when they could instead go to a European or American university and be more likely to be able to stay and find a job.”