Boris Johnson – what lies ahead for EU immigration? banner


Boris Johnson – what lies ahead for EU immigration?

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It is said that the ‘honeymoon’ stage of the new prime minister’s tenure in 10 Downing Street is over with the recent by-election results. To top London immigration solicitors it was a short honeymoon given the countdown to Brexit. In some papers, it is reported that Boris Johnson has purchased, using Conservative party funds, a £500 clock to help countdown to Brexit. The clock apparently monitors the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the new Brexit deadline of 11 pm on the 31 October 2019.

For many top London immigration solicitors there is no need for a countdown clock. They have been gearing up to Brexit and helping both individuals and UK business prepare for Brexit since the referendum decision. Most London immigration solicitors will say that the preparation has not been easy as it is hard to deliver Brexit ready strategies when there is continued uncertainty over the UK’s departure date from the EU and whether the UK will leave with a deal or not. However, Brexit preparation is key to successful adaptation of businesses to a post Brexit world, whatever its final form.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

Central London OTS Solicitors help individuals and businesses with all aspects of Immigration law and can advise you on whether you are “Brexit ready” and provide bespoke Brexit strategic planning. If you need individual or business immigration law advice call us on 0203 959 9123.

EU citizens and digital tracking

Just when top London immigration solicitors were getting to grips with the best legal advice to offer individual EU citizens on Settled Status and the EU Settlement Scheme and strategies for businesses and their post Brexit recruitment of migrant workers, there is further news that creates uncertainty or even confusion for EU Citizens and UK businesses.
Take the case of the leaked Home Office report that says that post Brexit the government intends to introduce digital identity tracing of all EU citizens. The purpose of introducing tracking of EU citizens is to ensure that individuals do not breach Immigration controls once Free Movement has ended. Many may think that the introduction of digital tracking is laudable whereas others see it as a step towards a totalitarian state. Boris Johnson may well view digital tracking as the best means in which the UK can start to take back control of its borders but top London immigration solicitors, standing back from the politics of the scheme, question whether it will work.
Stephen Slater, senior caseworker at OTS Solicitors was interviewed by Talk radio about the proposed introduction of digital identity cards for EU citizen. It is fair to say that, in his judgement, the planned scheme is completely unworkable. Stephen is known for his passion for Immigration law and grasp of statistics so he presented a rather formidable array of figures to the talkRADIO presenter who concluded the interview by saying that it was always good to speak to Stephen as it is “refreshing that he always has the facts on his side”. That is because Stephen is as meticulous in preparing for an interview as when he is working on an individual or businesses Immigration case or presenting the best case at an Immigration tribunal.

EU Immigration and digital tracking – the statistics

There are around 3.2 million EU citizens living in the UK. The Home Office leaked document says that it plans to track these EU citizens. Even if the number of EU citizens tracked was limited to those of working age that would still amount to around 2.4 million EU nationals.
Some may think it is defeatist to say that the government is not capable of digitally tracking EU citizens but, relying on hard facts, Stephen Slater points out that:

• The UK currently tracks only around 142,000 non-EEA migrant workers under the Sponsor Licence system. The Home Office Sponsor Licence places a great deal of bureaucracy on employers who have to comply with what can be onerous Sponsor Licence duties. Expecting 6,000 hard pressed UK Visas and Immigration staff or business to monitor an extra 2.4 million EU citizens just will not work in practice;

• People are not like cans of beans that can easily be digitally monitored as part of stock control. A labour market is a dynamic force, made up of individuals who move employer or change their status and monitoring their movements would commit enormous resources for dubious gains;

• In the UK, there are more people in work since records began. The UK is as close to full Employment as it is possible to get. At the same time, net EU migration has fallen to about 74,000 people, the lowest level since 2008;

• The UK is competing for migrant workers with the rest of Europe. Migrants are attracted to countries that offer the best rate of pay and make them feel welcome;

• Historically, particularly London and the South East have benefitted in higher levels of EU migration than in other areas of the UK. That has been reflected in the economic growth in London and South East;

• It is, in the words of Stephen Slater, “a statistical fantasy” to say that EU migrant workers take jobs away from UK workers or force down wages. The Migration Advisory Committee reviewed the research and concluded that there was no evidence to say migrant workers forced down salaries;

• Britain’s economy will suffer and go into recession if the Immigration model is broken and business owners are not able to recruit the migrant workers they need to grow their businesses. This could create irrevocable harm to UK industry and the future of the country;

• Politicians from both the Conservative and Labour parties have called for the introduction of an Australian style points-based Immigration system to control Immigration post Brexit. Some have questioned if this is the best way forward but Stephen Slater says the reality is that we already have a points based Immigration system in place. Adopting the Australian points based system would just tinker with the Immigration control that the UK already has in operation.

Boris Johnson – what lies ahead for EU Immigration?

What does lie ahead for EU Immigration with Boris Johnson at the helm? According to Stephen Slater, if the UK government proceeds with digital tracking of all EU citizens, it will add to the Immigration bureaucracy on an unimaginable scale. Complex and confusing Immigration laws makes work for top London immigration solicitors but in Stephen Slater’s view, at the expense of the UK economy.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

Central London OTS Solicitors help individuals and businesses with all aspects of Immigration law providing proactive, results driven Immigration legal advice.
Our specialist individual immigration team can help you with all types of individual and business visa applications, EU Settlement Scheme Settled Status applications, asylum seeker and human rights claims, and challenging Home Office decisions.
Our expert business immigration team can help you secure a Sponsor Licence or a business visa, such as a Start-up Visa or Innovator Visa or assist you with Sponsor Licence management services and bespoke training.
For advice about how OTS Solicitors can help you please call us on 0203 959 9123.

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