Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took up office on 24 July, has stated in the House of Commons that he plans to reverse his predecessor’s infamous pledge to reduce the number of migrants coming to the UK to the “tens of thousands”. Mr Johnson’s official spokesman clarified that the new PM “wasn’t interested in a numbers game” about annual targets in net migration.
The Prime Minister also pressed on wanting the UK to adopt a Points Based System similar to the one in operation in Australia. Mr Johnson’s statement last week continued: “…and today I will actually deliver on those promises - I will ask the Migration Advisory Committee to conduct a review of that system as the first step in a radical rewriting of our immigration system. I am convinced that we can produce a system that the British public can have confidence in.”
The Prime Minister was alluding to a less stringent immigration policy as he detaches himself from his predecessor’s legacy. He may now effectively take the initiative on changes to immigration policies which he did not have the power to do as Mayor of London. In particular, the possibility of granting an amnesty to “perhaps half a million people”. He stated that he raised this idea during his time as the Mayor of London when he served under Theresa May, however, he “didn’t receive an overwhelming endorsement from the previous prime minister”. He also speculated that the current situation surrounding said migrants risks escalating into another Windrush scandal. Mr Johnson confirmed his support for the proposal and said that the government would review the issue promising to review the “economic advantages and disadvantages” of amending the policies for migrants who do not hold documents to prove their permission to stay in the UK.
Mr Johnson, it appears, sees UK immigration in a different light in comparison to his predecessor. How might he change the existing immigration policies? One can only hope that he stays true to his word and commits to an immigration system which benefits not only the British public, but the global population as whole.
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