Home Secretary Priti Patel plans immigration crackdown after Brexit
She wants to toughen up the rules whether or not there's a Brexit deal
ByNicola BartlettPolitical Correspondent
10:50, 28 JUL 2019UPDATED10:57, 28 JUL 2019
Priti Patel has already announced changes (Image: Getty Images)
Home Secretary Priti Patel has outlined her plans to toughen up the UK's immigration system whether or not the UK leaves the EU with a deal.
Ms Patel, who has consistently supported harsher rules, has vowed to seize the "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity offered by Brexit to enact Boris Johnson's radical shake-up.
The Prime Minister has already committed to a radical rewrite of the rules in his first speech in the job.
And his new Home Secretary confirmed she would be urgently commissioning the Migration Advisory Committee to review Australia's points-based system.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already committed to tightening the rules (Image: PA)
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, she added: "The current migration system means we have to give an automatic right of access to all EU nationals.
"In future, we will decide who we give preference to, so we can ensure we are able to attract the most talented and skilled from other parts of the world."
The new Home Secretary also vowed to ensure a strong border to help keep out terrorists and criminals, and said all prospective migrants would be checked for criminal records.
Ms Patel insisted that a skills-based approach would boost the economy.
"We must seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offered by the end of free movement," she wrote.
"Free from the shackles of the EU - and an automatic right of entry for their citizens, with or without work - we will be able to give the type of preference to brilliant scientists, academics and highly skilled workers that we want to see more of."
But her record, which includes voting for stricter measures for asylum seekers, suggests the crackdown could form part of a wider programme of harsher measures on immigration.
Mr Johnson made no secret of his desire for an Australian-style points-based immigration system during the Tory leadership contest.
He set out his proposals as part of his wide-ranging first Commons speech as Prime Minister, saying: "No-one believes more strongly than me in the benefits of migration to our country.
"But I am clear that our immigration system must change."
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