Barmy Scientists or useful Workforce?

Barmy scientists or useful workforce?  Now that Bexit has been delivered, Boris Johnson has to live up to his promise of the points-based system that was one of his six key guarantees on page one of their manifesto in December 2019.  Yes, that  “Australian points-based immigration system” that will  control  immigration into the United Kingdom which we have been hearing for ages. 

Barmy Scientists or Useful Workforce?
Barmy Scientists or Useful Workforce?

On instructions of the home office, the government’s official migration policy advisers are reviewing the Australian points based system in order to “advise on what best practice can be used to strengthen the UK labour market and attract the best and brightest from around the world”.

What is the Australian points-based immigration system?

Australia has what is known as a general skilled migration programme, where immigrants applying for a visa are typically selected based on “economically relevant characteristics” such as education, language skills and work experience. This does not apply for refugees and asylum seekers and there are other visas available with different requirements, such as travel or holiday visas.

Points are allocated then depending on policy and the labour market but typically an applicant picks a “skilled occupation” from a list and needs to score a minimum number of points. After a series of checks with personal, financial and contact details, identity documents, education, employment, health and travel history, the visa application is submitted online

What is the Current Policy ?

The current UK immigration policy includes a points based system for those migrating for work purposes. The  requirements for non-EU migrants  to enter the UK is for them to have a job. It has high skilled migrants salary threshold of £30,000.

The Migration Advisory Committee Report

However, the migration advisory committee (Mac) in its 271-page report, does not back an Australian-points based system and recommends a mixed system, which would rely on a minimum salary threshold for those people coming to the UK with a job offer and a points-based system for skilled workers  and the talented individuals, coming to the UK without an arranged job.

Mac concluded that if the government wants a points-based system it should only introduce it for skilled workers without a job offer. It further recommends cutting the salary threshold for skilled migrants from £30,000 to £25,600 for those coming to the UK with a job offer.

This could make it easier for teachers, NHS employees and people at the start of their careers to qualify. The committee recommends higher thresholds for more highly paid occupations.

Barmy Scientists or Useful Workforce?
Photo by Elien Dumon on Unsplash

Alan Manning, the chair of the committee stated that the committee’s recommendations would reduce levels of immigration, the size of the UK population and total GDP, and increase pressure on social care, the Mac said. But they would probably reduce pressures on the NHS, schools and on social housing.

Will Mac recommendation be listened to?

Doubt it! Downing Street has indicated it was unlikely to notably change course on its immigration plans as a result of the report.  Moreover, the home secretary, Priti Patel, dismissed the committee as “advisory”, setting the stage for the government to plough ahead with whatever plans it deems most effective.

A Home Office spokesperson, in response the report  said: “We will deliver on the people’s priorities by introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021 to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world, while reducing low-skilled migration and bringing overall numbers down.”

Barmy Scientists or Useful Workforce?

Boris Johnson’s exclusive “global talent visa”, to be launched in February, is aimed at “the world’s scientists and mathematicians”. It will prove, he says, that post-Brexit “the UK is open to the most talented minds in the world” – so long as they are scientists. As for entrepreneurs, economists, humanitarians, historians, artists, let alone mere caring human beings, they should stay put.

Johnson’s home secretary, Priti Patel, says it is “about time” Britain learned to breed its own lesser class of worker. As for breeding its own scientists, that is apparently beyond its capacity.

From the Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher to now, over four decades, Scientist and Mathematicians have been the core of every election manifesto, virtually reached as a new religion to salvage human beings and traumatising the masses with Russia putting a man in space indicating that Russia was advanced in science (ignoring their understanding of politics and economics.) Four decades later, where are we with Science?

Well, with the collapse of the British car, ship, airline and computing industries and a draconian emphasis on maths  that has merely led to Britain having to rely on the Chinese for digital infrastructure. Economic success was based instead on finance, design, marketing and trade.

Meanwhile cuts in the much-needed NHS staff teachers included deportation measures leave the United Kingdom with under-resourced schools and hospitals and long waiting list o the NHS.  

For advice and representation on your Immigration matters contact Piya Mayenin, Solicitor now on 07512 810 472 or fill in the enquiry form on the right with your number for a call back . 

EU Settlement Dissaray and the Brexit Saga

EU Settlement  Dissaray and the Bexit Saga

EU Settlement dissaray and the brexit saga has been a perplexing and frustrating issue of the Brexit saga. Ongoing statements by Ministers that promise to deport those who do not apply before the deadline and other issues means that it may very well turn into another ‘Windrush scandal’ if certain matters are not addressed.

On Wednesday, MEP’s expressed ‘grave concern’ about the scheme and called for the UK government to provide EU nationals with “a physical document as proof of their right to reside in the UK after the end of the transition period”.

In a resolution backed by a heavy majority, EU lawmakers called on the UK and EU27 to adopt a “declaratory” system that would remove the risk of forced deportation. More on this later. First, let’s set out the current state of Brexit.

EU Settlement dissaray and the brexit saga
EU Settlement dissaray and the brexit saga

The Withdrawal Agreement

On 17th October 2019, Britain and the EU agreed a Brexit deal in principle, known as the Withdrawal Agreement which is not a trade deal but simply a document which sets out how the UK will leave the EU and dealing with the following:

  • The status of EU nationals living in the UK, and UK nationals living in the EU at the time of exit.
  • The transition period, whereby the UK will still be part of the EU trading bloc whilst a formal trade agreement is negotiated. This avoids the dreaded ‘cliff-edge’ whereby the UK leaves the EU on 31st January with no trade deal in place.
  • How Northern Ireland will be treated following Brexit. A backstop has been created to ensure that regardless of the outcome of any future trade deal, there will not be a border and customs checks on the island of Ireland. This is because a hard border between Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (which is an EU member state) may jeopardise the Good Friday agreement which ended decades of violence and hostility.
  • The financial settlement the UK must pay to the EU upon leaving. This is known as the ‘divorce bill’.
  • Fishing rights. The document says: “The Union and the United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours to conclude and ratify ‘an agreement’ on access to waters and fishing opportunities.”
  • The jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice during the transition period and the setting up of a joint UK-EU committee to deal with disputes related to the Withdrawal Agreement.

Although the EU and the British government agreed on a deal, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson had to get it approved by Parliament. However, whilst Parliament granted preliminary approval to the Withdrawal Agreement, only 15 minutes later, MPs voted down legislation which would have paved the way for the Prime Minister to ensure Britain left the EU by 31 October 2019. Following from this defeat, instead of trying to push through the agreement, the Prime Minister successfully fought for and won a pre-Christmas election which means that the EU had granted an extension to 31 January 2020.

On January 9th January 2020 MP’s finally gave their backing to the withdrawal bill. The latest vote gives approval to 11 months of transition period after 31 January, in which the UK will cease to be an EU member but will continue to follow its rules and contribute to its budget. The purpose of the transition period is to give time for the UK and EU to negotiate their future relationship, including a trade deal. Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael said his party would continue to oppose the “dangerous” bill.

“They have voted for a bill that will slash the rights of future generations to live and work across 27 other countries,” he said.

“They have voted for a bill that strips away our guaranteed environmental protections, despite the fact that we are facing a climate emergency.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Scotland would “remain an independent European country”.

“This is a constitutional crisis, because we will not and we cannot accept what is being done to us,” he told MPs.

EU Settlement  Dissaray and the Bexit Saga (Settlement Scheme)

The EU Settlement Scheme opened fully on 30 March 2019 and will remain live until 30 June 2021. EU/EEA nationals who have lived in the UK for five or more years can apply for Settled Status, which will confirm their right to live and work in the UK without visa restrictions. EU/EEA nationals who have been in the country for less than five years may apply for Pre-Settled Status. Applications for Settled Status and Pre-Settled Status can be made online.

Newspapers have reported many instances of Settled Status being mistakenly denied including prominent people of society and those that have been in the UK for a long time. Examples include: chef and cooking school owner, Richard Bertinet who was granted only Pre-Settled Status , despite having lived in Britain for over three decades, ( Mr Bertinet has since been granted Settled Status. ) Polish celebrity chef Damian Wawrzyniak , who has prepared banquets for the royal family and was a senior chef at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Grave Concerns  for Securing Residency 

This treatment of EU citizens are a reason of grave concerns for vulnerable EU/EEA citizens, such as the elderly, disabled. Those who do not have payslips, may not apply or be apply and be denied Settled Status. To really disturb all concerned, the Home Office minister, Brandon Lewis told a German newspaper in October that EU/EEA nationals who did not apply for Settled Status before the deadline would be deported. This led to the Liberal Democrat’s Home Affairs spokeswoman Christine Jardine said she was “absolutely appalled” by Brandon Lewis’s deportation threat and she predicted “thousands” of people would be left undocumented by the “arbitrary” deadline.

It is imperative to secure residency status as soon as possible now and if you are having problems with your Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status application, or your application has been rejected, seek advice from an experienced immigration lawyer without delay.

Based in London, Piya Mayenin is a specialist in Immigration and Employment law and is a consultant solicitor in Taylor Rose TTKW, one of Britain’s Top 200 leading law firms of 2020. If you have any concerns or questions regarding Brexit or the EU Settlement Scheme, please phone Piya on 07512810472 or contact via the contact form on this page.