Immigration lawyer calls LBC to criticise new points-based system for low-skilled workers

19 February 2020, 15:01 | Updated: 19 February 2020, 15:07

An immigration lawyer has told LBC that the new points-based immigration system was a "bit disappointing."

This comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK's post-Brexit immigration system which will deny visas to low-skilled workers.

The government has unveiled a new point-based system to be introduced from January 2021 that intends to "end reliance on low-skilled workers" and make it easier for higher-skilled workers to get UK visas.

Shara Pledger, a corporate immigration lawyer at Latitude Law, spoke to Shelagh Fogarty today about the news.

Shelagh asked: "Let's start with EU citizens because it seems to me that they are the first to feel the impact of this and therefore places that they would typically work are the first companies to feel the impact of this. What do you think it amounts to?"

Shara said: "The big issue that's caused by this idea of just completely closing the door on EU workers from the first of January of next year is that there are particular sectors all over the UK that are very heavily reliant on those workers.

"And that includes things like agriculture, social care, hospitality, manufacturing, all of those kinds of roles. And a lot of those are classed by the home office has been lower skilled, which isn't a term that I'm particularly comfortable with.

"But those are exactly the type of workers that this policy is completely aimed at excluding from the UK altogether."

Later, Shara concluded: "And I think that's really what's a bit disappointing to be honest about the changes that have been announced today.

"Because going back to what you said earlier, you know, if some of this kind of cosmetic and political posturing I think that's almost certainly true. I think probably any immigration lawyer would tell you today, that having read through that policy, there is not as much that is new, as what people have been told is really new points by system.

Boris Johnson's Post-Brexit Cabinet Reshuffle
Boris Johnson's Post-Brexit Cabinet Reshuffle. Picture: Getty

"We already have the idea of assigning points based on job offer, English language, qualification, salary threshold, all of that is already there. It already operates."

This comes after LBC's Nick Ferrari challenged the Home Secretary over immigration plans.

Nick pushed the Home Secretary to respond to critics who say the new system can spell disaster for the care sector.

She dispelled his examples and emphasised that "of course" people will be qualified to work in the care sector as "they'll be able to come through our high-skilled route through the points-based system."