Brexit Britain shows its power as non-EU migrant numbers soar -new system reaping benefits

Frost admits Britain needs 'benefits of Brexit to start paying off’

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There was a 25 percent increase in non-EU migrants in the last year than in 2019 according to the Home Office’s immigration figures, with 239,987 work-related visas granted. Less than a tenth of these came from the EU. After the end of freedom of movement in January last year, migrants from the bloc now have to obtain a visa – but the new points system has opened opportunities for migrants from across the globe.

The main driver for the soaring statistics is from migrants outside of the EU, with an expert claiming that Boris Johnson’s more liberal approach to immigration is a primary driver behind the climbing numbers.

The number of foreign students also saw a major increase, reaching a record high of 416,000 – up by more than half compared with 2019.

EU students, meanwhile, made up a smaller number than in previous years, accounting for just 5 percent of the total.

A key factor behind the rising number of new migrants to the UK is the implementation of a points-based immigration system, which has lowered the salary and skill thresholds for those looking to work in the UK. This has opened up half of all jobs in the UK to foreign workers, claim The Times.

Prior to the new system, employers had to prove a British worker could not be recruited to fill a vacancy before recruiting from outside the EU, but under the new system the number of professions that qualify for visas has been expanded significantly.

They now include jobs such as chef, bricklayer, electrician, welder, and health and care workers. The Government has also removed caps on many visa routes into the UK.

They have also added new visa routes, providing more ways for migrants to secure work in the UK, one of the most significant of which is the Skilled Worker Route introduced in January last year.

This led to a third more skilled migrants entering the UK than the Tier 2 visa it replaced, which was more restrictive, and accounts for the majority of work-related visas.

The total number of migrants using this route hit over 150,000 last year.

Consistent with the total figures, the vast majority of these were from outside the EU.

Most of the increase were made up of Indian, Pakistani, Nigerian and Filipino workers.

Indians represented the largest contingent, with 67,839 work visas granted last year – a 14 percent rise from 2019.

However, the other nationalities saw a much higher increase. Numbers of Nigerian migrants accounted for the sharpest increase, with a 161 percent rise from 3,918 to 10,245 in the two years since the new system.

Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London observed the difference between Mr Johnson and Theresa May’s approaches to migration being manifested in the statistics.

He said: “There was always this question about whether Brexit would result in a reduction in immigration or a switch or some combination of the two.

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“The original Theresa May plan was very much aimed at the former — at reducing immigration from the EU by ending free movement, while having only very limited increases in non-EU migration.

“The system we have ended up implementing is much more about the switch rather than the reduction because the new system is considerably less liberal for Europeans.

“It’s considerably more liberal on a number of dimensions for the non-EU for both work and student visas.”

Home secretary Priti Patel said: “Immigration has enriched our nation through the ages and continues to do so. People hailing from every corner of the globe are here in the UK contributing to our country in many ways across our economy, society and culture.

“Our exit from the EU has led to the biggest change in our approach to immigration for decades, implementing a new points-based immigration system. This delivers on a key commitment to the public to take back control of our borders and put in place an immigration system that works in our national interest.”

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