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Monday 10 February 2020

Boris’s Australia-style points-based immigration system to deliver 90,000 drop in immigration

Details have emerged of the impact the PM’s new immigration policy will have on cutting the inflow of foreign workers, reducing unemployment and increasing wages.

According to the Sun, Boris and Priti Patel last week signed off on the new system which will be activated when Britain leaves the EU Single Market in January.

The plans borrow a lot from Nigel Farage’s proposal during the election with special sector-by-sector visas being made available to fix labour shortages.

It was of course Nigel who first said we should look at how the Australians do it once we leave the EU.

The government expects already tumbling immigration from the EU – the influx has dropped by a third since the referendum – to fall an additional 90,000 in the back of the new restrictions. Met immigration from the EU was still high in 2019 at 212,000.

Boris has scaled back his ambitions. When he unveiled his plans to go the Australian way he suggested a minimum salary of 30,000, that’s now dropped to 25,600.

The rest is more encouraging. Applicants for work visas will need to have the job already secured, speak good English and have useful skills. The focus is on bringing in the world’s top talent to fuel the economy.

Ten tax-free ports to ‘turbocharge’ the UK economy

The Sun also covers parallel plans similarly long in the making to revive struggling coastal communities by creating zones where factories will thrive by knocking off the import tariffs on materials and components for manufacturing higher-end goods. Red tape will also be cut.

“Without Brussels telling us what to do, we can start doing what’s best for British businesses. We can set the rules to suit our needs,” said chief secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak.

“If we get this right, businesses inside these zones will boom and become magnets for investment.

“This could lead to thousands of new jobs – and in parts of the country that need them most.”

Belfast, Liverpool and Teeside are big candidates to benefit, but the government hasn’t ruled out creating zones inland. Each area will also benefit from cash injections both within the zone and around it.

Sinn Fein destroy Ireland’s two-party monopoly

Following a devastatingly effective campaign attacking the country’s two-party establishment and declaring pride in their nation, Sinn Fein romped to first place in last night’s general election in Ireland.

The party hasn’t changed but they’ve had the good sense of attacking the elites for getting distracted by global politics and not bothering to address the country’s horrendous housing shortage.

Sinn Fein have also ditched Gerry Adams as leader who over decades has been constantly described as being an apologist for terrorism – no surprise there, this is Sinn Fein after all. They’ve got someone else in a couple of years ago. It doesn’t even matter who.

Sinn Fein didn’t field enough candidates to govern alone so a coalition is in the offing with Fianna Fáil, the only of the two major party’s – Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael being the other – that said it would be prepared to work with the Irsh nationalists. Whichever way the government gets put together it’ll have a streak of the no nonsense, which bodes well for Britain, hard to believe when one of our nation’s mortal enemies has just got into power.

In the grand scheme of things, being prime minister (sorry Toaiseach) doesn’t amount to much if you’re an Irish politician with a massive ego, which is why incumbent, Leo Varadkar and his deputy, Simon Coveney have been so keen to work at Brussels’ bidding over the last two years. They both want top jobs in the EU that would dwarf the status of the offices they currently hold. These guys are career before country through and through.

The next administration will be more muscular and likely to take shots at Barnier as much Boris. It’ll also be more determined to dangle No Deal Brexit.

And No Deal, looks more likely than ever. Late last week, Emmanuel Macron said Britain would have to align we EU rules to get any deal.

So be it.