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

Of scaremongers and Panglossians

Iain Duncan Smith has been in the headlines today, following a piece in the Daily Mail in which he made the all too familiar accusation that those campaigning to stay in the EU are guilty of scaremongering.

The “acrimonious” conduct of the UK’s EU Remain campaign risks damaging the government beyond the June referendum, Iain Duncan Smith has warned.

He said those making “desperate and unsubstantiated” claims about EU exit risked damaging their own integrity.

To be fair, Duncan Smith is well qualified to comment on this subject, having a great deal of experience of making desperate and unsubstantiated claims which damage the speaker’s integrity. Still, his comments did cause my eyebrows to rise somewhat given that Eurosceptics have hardly been averse to scaremongering themselves in the past. Remember those stories about how we were going to be swamped by Romanians and Bulgarians, which turned out to be nonsense? Or numerous reports of how dastardly EU regulations were outlawing insufficiently straight cucumbers, banning children from blowing up balloons or preventing us from composting tea bags, etc. ad nauseam?

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