Leaving the EU would bring the UK and Australia closer, it is suggested

by Ray Clancy on June 14, 2016

in Australia Immigration, General Information

Australia and the UK would be brought closer together if British people vote to leave the European Union later this month, it is claimed.

The referendum on leaving the EU takes place in 23 June and much of the arguments surrounding the Leave and Remain campaigns are related to the economy and immigration.

A key player, former London Mayor Boris Johnson who leads the Leave campaign, wants the UK to have an Australian style points immigration system. Those who want to leave the EU believe that current immigration rules mean far too many migrants come from Easter European countries putting a strain on services like housing and health.


They point out that people from Australia need to have a visa to live and work in the UK while those from EU countries do not so it is hard for immigration to be controlled in terms of attracting those with skills that are really needed.

Johnson believes that a new immigration system could allow more Australians to get UK visas and boost trade ties between the countries. “It’s a chance for us, in our country, to take back control of all sorts of aspects of our lives including, for instance, immigration policy, which, as you know, at the moment is very heavily skewed towards the European Union, it’s very biased,” he said.

Johnson is also urging British expats in Australia to vote to leave the EU. “I have listened carefully to what friends have said in Australia and they see the advantages of us taking back control of our immigration system,” he added.

But in Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he hopes the UK will vote to stay in the EU. Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten have also publicly backed the case to Remain.

The Leave campaign says that the current scale of immigration is putting a strain on public services and that school class sizes will rise and hospital waiting lists will lengthen if Britain does not leave.

It also says that this pressure will intensify if Britain votes to remain as EU migrants arrive in the UK to escape rising unemployment in their home countries caused by the Euro-crisis and that a points system is the only way to restore public trust in immigration policy.

If the UK leaves the EU the current automatic right of all EU citizens to live and work in the UK will end and a new points based system would mean that those seeking entry for work or study would be admitted on the basis of their skills without discrimination on the ground of nationality. To gain the right to work, economic migrants would have to be suitable for the job in question.

So migrants would be tested on their ability to speak good English and amass points for a job that suits their professional skills. Johnson also claims that such a system could be much less bureaucratic and much simpler than the existing system for non-EU citizens.

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