Read more: Brexit would not damage UK security
In a joint statement this week, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Gisela Stuart put forward the case for an “Australian-style points-based immigration system.”
The four MPs are in favour of Britain voting to leave the EU on 23rd June, and suggested that post-Brexit our immigration system could be “much less bureaucratic…than the existing system.”
Explaining the system that they are in favour of, the four wrote: “To gain the right to work, economic migrants will have to be suitable for the job in question. For relevant jobs, we will be able to ensure that all those who come have the ability to speak good English.”
David Cameron has been quick to rubbish the proposal. “Australia has more migration per head than we do here in the UK, so I think it’s the wrong approach,” the Prime Minister said on BBC Radio 5 Live. George Osborne has called it “fantasy politics.”
So who’s right? A panel of experts including Chukka Umunna and Peter Singer share their views.
It wouldn’t even work
Chuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham
The official “Leave” campaign might be fronted by the likes of Johnson, Gove and Grayling, but it’s clear the script was written long ago by Nigel Farage. From scaremongering about Turkey to blaming all the country’s problems on migrants, their tactics have become increasingly ugly and divisive. So it was no surprise to see Vote Leave calling for the UK to adopt a points-based immigration system, a proposal taken straight from the UKIP manifesto.
UKIP argue this would cut migration from the EU, but the irony it wouldn’t actually succeed in doing this. Australia has double the number of migrants per head that the UK does. Even anti-EU groups like Migration Watch and Civitas have warned that a points-based system would be a totally unsuitable model for the UK and could actually increase levels of migration from the EU.
Moreover, as the Spanish and Dutch Prime Minister have…