The UK’s Conservative Party Opts For Brexit

UK will leave the single market and the customs union; and it will withdraw completely from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Those who thought that a convincing Conservative victory in the forthcoming election would mean a softer Brexit were deluded. If the Conservatives win, as is widely predicted, Brexit will mean Hard Brexit.

UK Independence Party, believe immigration is much too high. The previous government had a net migration (immigrants minus emigrants) target of 100,000 per annum, but meeting this target had proved impossible in practice: the latest official figures show that net migration in 2016 was 273,000. Interestingly, nearly half of all immigrants come from outside the EU. Clearly, if she is to gain the broad support that she wants, Mrs. May must craft an immigration policy that significantly reduces immigration not only from the EU, but from other countries too.

The manifesto will propose tighter restrictions on immigration from outside the EU, to be implemented soon after the new government is elected. These restrictions will include increasing the annual ‘skills charge’, a tax levied on companies who bring skilled migrants into the UK, to £2,000 per migrant – double the current amount. Migrants will also face higher fees to access the UK’s National Health Service.  the manifesto promises to ‘bear down’ on immigration ‘across all visa routes’, which suggests that obtaining visas might be made more difficult.

The ‘skills charge’ applies to companies bringing in skilled workers from overseas, and the money raised is intended to be used for improving the skills of British people. At present it is not clear what the situation regarding unskilled migration will be. UKIP’s stated policy is to end unskilled migration completely, and as Robert Peston says, May is clearly aiming at UKIP voters. So, in future unskilled migrants could have a hard time getting into the UK. Recent comments from the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, suggest that the Government is not minded to make concessions to help sectors such as agriculture and hospitality that rely on unskilled immigrant labour.