Will Vote Leave’s points based immigration system get null points?

This week the Vote Leave campaign unveiled it’s plans for immigration controls in a post-Brexit UK – an “Australian style” points system. I’m not quite sure why it keeps being referred to “Australian style” when we actually have a points system ourselves for non-EU migrants, but in any case according to Vote Leave this system will be “fairer, more humane, and better for the economy.”

First of all it needs to be pointed out that whatever kind of immigration laws the Leave campaign think we should have post-Brexit, whatever kind of trade deal they think we should negotiate, however much they might want to do things like scrap VAT on fuel, they won’t get to decide these things – these decisions will be made by the government of the day and they will not be bound by the Leave campaign’s wish-list. Of course Boris Johnson or Michael Gove may be a part of that government, one of them may even lead it, but there’s certainly no guarantee.

However given that, as I said above, what they are proposing seems to be little different from the current rules for non-EU migrants it seems reasonable to assume that a system like this would be in place, in fact so much so that one wonders why it is particularly newsworthy. So it is worth examining its likely impact. Continue reading