What is points-based immigration? Expert reveals it could lead to more immigration

15 November 2019, 09:03 | Updated: 2 April 2020, 14:57

Boris Johnson has promised a "points-based immigration system" to replace freedom of movement. But what does that actually mean? Nick Ferrari asked an expert on migration to explain the policy.

What is a points-based immigration system

The Conservatives have pledged to follow the Australian system of immigration where people hoping the country have to answer a questionnaire and are given points based upon each of their answers.

Only those people whose responses get over a certain threshold are allowed to live and work in the country.

Nick Ferrari asked economist Phillipe Legrain to explain how this would work in the UK.

Speaking on LBC, he said: "It's not clear what politicians mean by a points-based immigration system.

"The reason that successive governments have banged on about creating a points-based system is that it seems fair and objective. And if you add the word Australian then it polls very well in focus groups.

An expert explained what a points-based immigration system would mean
An expert explained what a points-based immigration system would mean. Picture: PA

"But what successive governments have introduced in the guise of a points-based immigration system is very different to what Australia has.

"If it's code to say that Australia is tough on immigration, you find that as a proportion of the population, Australia admits three times more people than the UK does each year.

"Therefore, if we move to a more Australian system, we'd have more immigration, not less."

Watch the clip for Mr Legrain's full explanation of why immigration would not be a bad thing for UK society.