UK will bar all 'unskilled' migrants from the country
The new policy aims to cut "cheap labor" and spur home-grown tech development.
By Allen Laiche | Feb 20, 2020 | Print-friendly

Great Britain announced a new policy Wednesday to ban "unskilled" migrants. Starting January 1 of next year, it will require all migrants to be English-speaking and have a job before they may enter the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will introduce the bill to Parliament next month.

The plan overturns the pre-Brexit policy, in which any European Union citizens were permitted to move into Britain. It reflects the 2016 Brexit vote, in which a majority of UK citizens voted to leave the EU.

A Home Office statement said that the plan aims to promote technological development and innovation within Britain by bringing in more "scientists, engineers, academics, and other highly-skilled workers." The plan also aims to reduce the country's reliance on "low-skilled" migrants, the statement added.

"We need to shift the focus of our economy away from a reliance on cheap labor from Europe and instead concentrate on investment in technology and automation," the Home Office announced.

Britain's policy change is similar to the "merit-based" plan that President Trump announced for the United States in May. Trump's plan prioritizes immigrants who speak English and have college degrees over those who do not.

Home Secretary Priti Patel promoted the new plan in a series of TV and radio interviews Wednesday in which he said that businesses need to focus on recruiting more British-born adults instead of bringing more migrants into the country. He called the new policy "a historic moment for the whole country" that will make it easier for "the brightest and best from around the world" to come to Great Britain.