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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

No special treatment for EU migrants in Brexit Britain

Visa scheme will be based on skills with no preference to migrants from former EU nations

British Prime Minister Theresa May backed a post-Brexit visa system based on skills. EPA
British Prime Minister Theresa May backed a post-Brexit visa system based on skills. EPA

Migrants from the EU will not receive preferential treatment over those from the rest of the world when seeking to work in post-Brexit Britain, according to UK government plans.

Ministers reportedly backed a visa system based on skills and wealth. Only countries that struck trade deals with the UK would be given enhanced access to UK labour markets, according to media reports.

A government-commissioned review recommended last week that ministers scrap an annual cap of 20,700 visas under a skilled work scheme. But industries – notably UK fruit farms – have warned that the impact of Brexit could badly hit the flow of unskilled workers required at harvest time.

Migration emerged as the central topic for voters during the 2016 referendum campaign that led to the UK announcing it was leaving the 29-nation bloc. Discussions on the terms of departure for March 29, 2019, have stalled over other issues including borders, the shape of a future trading relationship, and regulations.

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