The policy – which is to form part of the new Immigration Bill to be unveiled in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech – is designed to attract skilled workers to less prosperous parts of the country.
Under a new points-based system, people will be allowed to live and work in the UK if they score highly enough on measures including education, salary level, skills – and a willingness to work away from the South East.
The new Bill – one of 22 being introduced by the Government to set out its post-Brexit domestic agenda – will outline Home Secretary Priti Patel’s radical plans for immigration following the end of free movement of EU citizens.
She was inspired by the Australian model, which awards 20 points for skilled migrants with ‘superior’ English and ten points for those who are ‘proficient’ in the language. Those with just ‘competent’ English do not score any points.
Home Secretary Priti Patel’s new immigation bill will use a new points-based system, under which people will be allowed to live and work in the UK if they score highly enough on measures including education, salary level, skills – and a willingness to work away from the South East
Migrants from in-demand professions such as doctors, nurses or computer programmers, also score more highly. But it is the attempt to spread the new arrivals around the country by awarding a higher score for those who will work in low-income areas which is likely to attract most attention.
Last night, a source close to Ms Patel said that the aim of the plan was to make sure that the deprived areas of the country which backed Brexit received a fair share of the influx of skilled staff.
The source said: ‘A lot of the areas that voted to leave have seen huge numbers of unskilled migrants moving in, while the more highly educated workers have piled into London.
‘While nobody is against opening the country up to more high-skilled immigration, the benefits have to be spread more evenly.
‘We’re in the early days of drawing up the new points-based immigration system, but are thinking about how it could be designed to make sure places other than London feel the benefits.’
According to No 10, the Queen’s Speech will be devoted to ‘getting Brexit done’, with a series of measures designed to allow the UK to ‘seize the opportunities’ presented by leaving the EU.
Central to Boris Johnson’s legislative programme will be a Withdrawal Agreement Bill, containing the details of any deal achieved at this week’s EU Summit.
No 10 says that it will ‘move at pace to secure its passage before October 31’.
But the Queen’s Speech will also offer a foretaste of the next Conservative Election manifesto, with Bills boosting spending on the National Health Service, crime, science and infrastructure.
It will also include an attempt to tackle the thorny issue of social care, which helped to torpedo the Conservatives’ 2017 Election campaign because of the controversy over Theresa May’s so-called ‘dementia tax’.
Government advisers helping to draw up the Queen’s Speech have jokingly referred to it as the ‘People’s Speech’, in reference to the Election campaign that Mr Johnson is likely to frame as a ‘people versus Parliament’ battle.
Ms Patel, who says that her new system of immigration will break with the philosophy of a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants and replace it with the principle of ‘control with compassion’, is a longstanding Brexit supporter.
She says she is keen to deliver on the Leave campaign’s promise to ‘take back control’ of the country’s borders and restore public faith in the system.
Boris is counting on the Mortgage Mums
Margaret Thatcher had ‘Essex Man’ to sweep her to power, while Tony Blair turned to ‘Mondeo Man’ and ‘Worcester Woman’ to turn the tide.
Now a new target voter group will enter the political lexicon – ‘Mortgage Mums’ – and Boris Johnson hopes they will secure him a Commons majority.
A private polling briefing at Downing Street on Friday revealed that the path to a Conservative victory lies in retaining Brexit supporters who voted Tory in 2017 and ‘love-bombing’ working women aged between 35 and 55 who have a mortgage.
While ‘Worcester Woman’ was a working-class female in her 30s who worried about quality of life issues with little interest in politics, ‘Mortgage Mums’ are lower middle-class joint-breadwinners with a keen eye on the economy but who are sick of ‘austerity’. A Tory source said: ‘Our polling shows if just one in five of these hardworking Brits switched from Labour, it could tip the balance.’
Last week The Mail on Sunday revealed that Mr Johnson’s election manifesto will be co-authored by two women, with high-spending pledges on the NHS, police and education.
The Home Secretary has arranged for Australian government officials to fly over to help implement the new system. Earlier this month she met Peter Dutton, her Australian counterpart, while both ministers were in the US for talks with Donald Trump’s administration.
Ms Patel was applauded by Tory members at the party’s annual conference in Manchester earlier this month when she said that she would ‘end the free movement of people once and for all’.
The Home Office has also drafted a new Extradition Bill which will allow the deportation of suspects who are wanted abroad to be fast-tracked. It will give police the power to immediately arrest and extradite criminals who are the subject of Interpol red notices without applying to the courts – as long as the request has been made by a ‘trusted country’, rather than states such as Russia, where there are concerns about the justice system.
The Bill is designed to replace many of the powers which the police possess under the European Arrest Warrant system, which will disappear after Brexit.
Mr Johnson said last night: ‘Getting Brexit done by October 31 is absolutely crucial, and we are continuing to work on an exit deal so we can move on to negotiating a future relationship based on free trade and friendly co-operation with our European friends.
‘But the people of this country don’t just want us to sort out Brexit. They want their NHS to be stronger, their streets safer, their wifi faster, the air they breathe cleaner, their kids’ schools better-funded – and this optimistic and ambitious Queen’s Speech sets us on a course to make all that happen, and more besides.
‘After one of the least active parliaments in living memory, the proposals we are bringing forward will get this country moving again.
‘This is a Queen’s Speech that will deliver for every corner of the UK and make this, once again, the greatest place on earth.
‘Public trust in Parliament is at an all-time low, but Conservatives are determined to reinvigorate Parliament and demonstrate to the public that the issues that matter to them are being properly addressed.’
Priti: Use foreign aid to stop illegal migrants
Millions of pounds of foreign aid money would be diverted into a new crackdown on people smugglers who help migrants enter the UK, under plans being drawn up by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Ms Patel has argued with Chancellor Sajid Javid that a proportion of the £14.5 billion which Britain hands out in overseas aid every year should instead go to teams trying to combat organised crime networks sending migrants across the Channel in small boats.
The move by Ms Patel – a former International Development Secretary herself – follows growing calls for the bloated aid budget to be channelled more directly towards the British national interest, amid a number of high-profile exposés of waste and mismanagement.
British immigration officials are now working with French counterparts in Calais and Dunkirk to break up the migrant networks and have told Ms Patel that they need an injection of funding and manpower to deal with the increasing sophistication of the operations.
DANGER: Border Force officers pick up migrants in the Channel last month. Border Force staff have reported that the camps where migrants wait before attempting to reach the UK have become increasingly complex mini-towns
Border Force staff have reported that the camps where migrants wait before attempting to reach the UK have become increasingly complex mini-towns, with barbers, waiter-service restaurants and even Amazon deliveries.
Last month the Border Force intercepted the highest number of migrants trying to reach the UK in a single day, with 86 people attempting the journey in small boats. Gangs are now co-ordinating their actions in France to send ‘surges’ of small boats across the Channel in an effort to outmanoeuvre patrol boats.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), which is in charge of moves to thwart the operations through its Invigor task force, says smugglers wait until there is ‘pent-up demand’ from migrants before orchestrating ‘mass departures’ in the knowledge that not all of the boats will be stopped. Last year more than 1,300 migrants used the dangerous shipping lane to reach Britain.
Following a crackdown on the supply of boats to northern France, the NCA says dinghies are being bought from as far away as Germany.
After the teams cleared a migrant camp containing about 1,000 people in Dunkirk last month, they told how gang leaders use phones with ‘self-destruct’ buttons which erase evidence about migration routes.
When Ms Patel was International Development Secretary, she protested about the way much of the aid budget was spent. Critics say the pressure to spend it leads to waste and corruption.
A source close to Ms Patel said: ‘It is in the interests of the migrants and the UK that these crossings are stopped. Some of these migrants are being loaded into tiny boats at gunpoint after handing over their life savings to criminal gangs and are in severe danger of losing their lives on the treacherous crossing.
‘The public are deeply sceptical of aid spending, which is hardly surprising given some of the farcical projects that have been in the papers in recent years. It would be much better to spend some of that money tackling small boat crossings.’
HARRY COLE: ‘Wizard of Oz’ Australian election king Sir Lynton Crosby has lost his magic for Boris Johnson as he loses out on running General Election campaign
Australian election king Sir Lynton Crosby and his sidekick Mark Fullbrook may have masterminded Boris Johnson’s successful bids for City Hall and helped to put him in No 10, but I hear they will not be running his General Election campaign.
The architect of David Cameron’s unexpected 2015 majority, Crosby – nicknamed the ‘Wizard of Oz’ – was retained by Conservative HQ for Theresa May’s 2017 campaign, but relations soured after bitter recriminations about the result.
Fullbrook also sparked internal ire for his poor running of Zac Goldsmith’s attempt to replace Johnson as Mayor of London.
Crosby kept up a close relationship with the future PM, and his firm continues to provide polling for the party. But despite Crosby being on ‘speed dial’ to Johnson during his successful leadership campaign, which was managed by Fullbrook, relations with the one-time gurus have ‘distinctly cooled’ after a series of negative briefings about the PM’s new team found their way into the tabloids.
A source whispers: ‘Lots of people seem to be struggling to come to terms with the new regime and are lashing out, looking for people to blame.’
Officially, it’s all sweetness and light, but senior Tories confirm neither man will play ‘a leading role’ in the coming campaign.
Olly well done, old boy!
Champagne all round at the National Liberal Club, the ornate Thames-side private members’ townhouse beloved by well-heeled Liberal Democrats.
My spy snapped this congratulations on the club noticeboard to newly honoured Sir Oliver Robbins – Theresa May’s controversial pro- EU Brexit negotiator, loathed and distrusted by Leavers and made a knight after quitting in failure.
The Government’s loss is Goldman Sachs’ gain…
Champagne all round at the National Liberal Club, the ornate Thames-side private members’ townhouse beloved by well-heeled Liberal Democrats
Is Jo planning to score at Twickers?
I hear private polling numbers in Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson’s East Dunbartonshire seat are dire, with party insiders hinting she could perform a ‘chicken run’ to Twickenham to avoid a humiliating defeat to the SNP.
However, the Libs have already selected a candidate to replace the retiring Sir Vince Cable.
Given the south-west London seat is a jewel in their crown, having been yellow for all but two years since 1997, there was some surprise when relative unknown Munira Wilson was selected for the plum constituency.
The party denies she is just keeping the seat warm, but it’s one to watch…
‘Saudi Arabia should be held to account, not embraced,’ said Jeremy Corbyn in one of his regular tirades against the Government’s ties to the controversial Gulf kingdom.
So the Labour leader may wish to have a quiet word with his MP Imran Hussain, who last week declared a luxury junket there including ‘flights, internal travel, accommodation, food and documentation’.
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia picked up the whopping £20,000 bill for him and a guest less than ten months after the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi horrified the world.
Security guards were startled by the Prime Minister loudly yelling ‘No Deal’ in the Downing Street garden very early in the morning.
Rather than rehearsing bellicose threats for next week’s crunch EU Brexit showdown, Boris assured those concerned who had run to the scene that he was trying to get his puppy Dilyn, now known as ‘Dil’, to behave.
Westminster’s self-appointed Head Girl, Amber Rudd, stepped up her ongoing war on violent political rhetoric last week, accusing Downing Street of sounding ‘angry and desperate’ with words ‘that I do not believe should be the language of a UK Government’.
Regular readers will remember her own rather aggressive resignation letter last month.
But now I hear the version that made it on to the Prime Minister’s desk was actually toned down.
The original draft passed to me talked of ‘reckless political arson’, ‘wanton culling’ and Rudd refusing to be ‘an innocent bystander any longer while our party is vandalised’. Angry and desperate?
Whatever could the Brexit Party’s Ann Widdecombe have meant with her astonishing blast at fellow female Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom and her choice of ‘awful’ clothes?
‘That micro skirt and plunging neckline,’ she raged at the Business Secretary last week. ‘I won’t say what I thought you looked like because it really would not be terribly polite.’
Surely the devout Catholic is not suggesting that yet another Tory Cabinet Minister has ‘something of the night’ about them?