British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tueday that after Brexit, visa priority will be given to high-skilled workers while low-skilled workers may be barred from working in the country.
The report [text, PDF] was originally filed on September 18, but May announced it to the public this morning. It includes salary thresholds for different kinds of labor and calls for a temporary ban to be placed on new low-skilled migrant worker visas. “For lower-skilled workers, we do not see the need for a work-related scheme with the possible exception of a seasonal agricultural workers scheme,” the proposal says.
The proposal will add extra security measures for people entering the country, even short-stay tourists, and even successful “high-skill” applicants must be first sponsored by future employers. The proposal will not cap the number of new student visas.
Throughout Tuesday many British business organizations decried the announcement. The Confederation of British Industry announced [press release] “every day workers with skills the UK needs are turned away and jobs left unfilled. Employers all over the UK will continue to urge its abolition to show the world Britain means business.”
In December 2017 the European Commission announced [text, PDF] that despite Brexit, most foreign workers of any skill level would remain protected under EU law, from which May’s newest proposal seeks to divorce itself. If this proposal is enacted current migrant workers will not have their status changed, but future migrant workers may be barred from working in the UK.