Thou­sands of highly-skilled mi­grants on way in Javid shake-up

Daily Mail - - News - By Miles Dil­worth

SA­JID Javid is plan­ning a ma­jor re­lax­ation of im­mi­gra­tion laws that would al­low thou­sands more highly- skilled mi­grants to en­ter the UK be­fore Brexit, it was re­ported last night.

Em­ploy­ers will be able to re­cruit an ex­tra 8,000 skilled mi­grants a year, in­clud­ing IT ex­perts, en­gi­neers and teach­ers, ef­fec­tively rais­ing the cap by 40 per cent.

The Home Sec­re­tary is ex­pected to an­nounce to­mor­row that doc­tors and nurses from out­side the EU will be ex­empt from the ‘tier 2’ visa cap to help the NHS fill staff short­ages, while busi­nesses will be given a higher al­lo­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to The Daily Tele­graph. The move marks Mr Javid’s first ma­jor in­ter­ven­tion on mi­gra­tion pol­icy.

It rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant soft­en­ing of the Gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion on non-EU mi­gra­tion since Theresa May be­came Home Sec­re­tary in 2010.

Mr Javid is be­lieved to favour a vi­sion of Bri­tain as a global coun­try, open to busi­ness from be­yond the EU af­ter Brexit.

It is un­der­stood that Mrs May was per­suaded to sup­port a ‘time-lim­ited’ ex­emp­tion for doc­tors and nurses af­ter Cab­i­net min­is­ters wrote to her back­ing Mr Javid’s plan.

Mr Javid is also ex­pected to launch the first re­view in five years of the pro­fes­sions that could qual­ify for visas, mean­ing that GPs, teach­ers and other skilled mi­grants could gain the right to en­ter the UK un­der tier 2 visas. The con­ces­sion is likely to in­crease the pres­sure on the Prime Min­is­ter to aban­don her tar­get of re­duc­ing net mi­gra­tion to the ‘tens of thou­sands’ and to re­move stu­dents from of­fi­cial fig­ures. Mrs May has con­sis­tently stated that the goal of Brexit is limit mi­gra­tion and has re­sisted calls to soften her po­si­tion.

Lead­ing Brex­i­teers, in­clud­ing For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris Johnson, have ar­gued that the Brexit vote was about tak­ing ‘con­trol’ of who should be granted en­try the UK, rather than sim­ply slash­ing num­bers.

Min­is­ters are yet to be­gin de­tailed dis­cus­sions on postBrexit im­mi­gra­tion strate­gies, but there is a growing sus­pi­cion that it is un­likely to be as strict as first thought.

For­mer Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne, an ally of Mr Javid when in Gov­ern­ment, claimed last year that the en­tirety of Mrs May’s Cab­i­net was op­posed to her net mi­gra­tion tar­get.

But a Gov­ern­ment source told The Daily Tele­graph that re­form is part of a ‘long-term’ plan for the NHS. In a let­ter to the Prime Min­is­ter, Mr Javid is un­der­stood to have warned that an in­crease in the num­ber of doc­tors re­cruited from out­side the EU has meant the cap for all skilled work­ers – which is set at 20,700 peo­ple a year – has been breached in every month since De­cem­ber.

It is be­lieved the Home Sec­re­tary stressed the new pol­icy did not al­ter his ‘po­si­tion on net mi­gra­tion’. He said the aim of Gov­ern­ment pol­icy should be to train more Bri­tish doc­tors.

It is be­lieved Jeremy Hunt, the Health Sec­re­tary, Greg Clark, the Busi­ness Sec­re­tary and Damian Hinds, the Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary have writ­ten to the Prime Min­is­ter in sup­port of Mr Javid.

‘Train more Bri­tish doc­tors’

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