In pursuit of a global Britain, May’s has tightened the visa process for Non-EU countries, by restricting the number of migrants coming to the UK. People often migrate to the UK using a Tier 2 visa for skilled workers, allowing them to work for a Tier 2 Sponsorship License holding UK employer.
UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, stated that ‘Australia should not expect any special treatment on immigration.’ Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is pursuing a less stringent UK visa regime for its citizens who want to live and work in Britain.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs stated regarding the strong ties between Australia and the UK, and the substantial contribution made by Australian workers to Britain’s economic growth. Therefore they would be disappointed and concerned by tougher criteria for Australian workers and visa holders.
THERESA MAY’S AGGRESSIVE APPROACH ON IMMIGRATION
May’s self-proclaimed pursuit of a global Britain has led Australia and India to demand a more ‘liberal UK visa regime’. She aims to cut annual net migration numbers to the UK to less than 100,000. Existing figures show that 250,000 foreign nationals come to Britain each year.
May’s pursuit of a global Britain, following the country’s exit from the EU, involves an aggressive approach to securing free trade deals, while aiming to restrict the number of people coming to the UK. The government would look to strike trade deals with Australia and India as quickly as possible, post-Brexit.
The controversy surrounding the UK’s treatment of foreign nationals wanting to come to Britain has been widely felt in India. UK ministers face regular criticism when visiting the sub-continent, partly due to restrictions imposed on Indian students wanting to study in Britain.
Theresa May addresses New Delhi Official, “Consideration will be given to improving our UK visa offer, provided that at the same time we can step up the speed and number of nationals returning to India who have no right to remain in the UK.” India argues that many of the immigrants the Prime Minister is referring to are not, in fact, Indian, but originate from other nations across Southern Asia.
India has urged Britain and the EU not to impose trade restrictions as part of any Brexit settlement that will impact other nations, warning that such an agreement would result in a significant setback for globalisation.
In the UK, the so-called independent Migration Advisory Committee has been commissioned by the government to analyse the impact of EU immigration on the UK economy. Its final report is due to be submitted in September 2018, just 6 months before Britain officially leaves the EU.
DFA’s report has been submitted to an Australian parliamentary inquiry, which was prompted by the UK’s vote to leave the EU in June 2016. The report does highlight that Canberra is keen to agree on a trade deal with London.
The report further stresses that Brexit will ‘not affect the priority that Australia attaches to a similar agreement with the EU. Discussions between Australia and the EU over a trade deal are set to take place later this year, once Brussels receives a formal mandate from member states.
Trade Deal amid Australia and Britain cannot proceed until the UK formally leaves the EU, scheduled for March 2019. However, the two nations have established a working group to identify opportunities for a future deal. It’s understood that UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, highlighted the benefits of a swift trade deal during a recent visit Down Under.