Britain’s immigration landscape is already changing | CNBC Reports


The United Kingdom has always
been a hotspot for immigration. But recently, there’s been a change. The dawn is breaking on an
independent United Kingdom. Immigration was one of the key factors driving debate
around the U.K.’s referendum on the European Union, with opponents complaining the EU
right to freedom of movement had caused an influx
of migrants in the U.K. I’ve been calling today in my remarks
for a fair immigration policy. The U.K. joined what would eventually
become the European Union in 1973, and EU citizens gradually migrated
to the U.K. over the coming decades. But it wasn’t until the EU-8, the Czech
Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, joined the EU in 2004
that those numbers exceeded 100,000 per year. Bulgaria and Romania’s entry in 2007
provided an additional boost. But those numbers peaked at 269,000
in 2015, the year before the referendum. In 2016, that trend reversed. The number of EU immigrants
coming to the U.K. dropped off, despite still having the
right to live and work there. At the same time, non-EU
immigrants began to increase. The fall of the pound made U.K. wages less
valuable relative to European wages. Economist Jonathan Portes researches the
changing relationship between the U.K. and EU. He says a lot of those non-EU immigrants
come from South Asian countries like India, Pakistan
and Bangladesh. Because fewer Europeans are coming
here, gaps have opened up that previously might have been filled by European
migration and are now being filled by Indians. Just look at 2018. More people from South Asia migrated
to the U.K. than from the EU-8. For some industries, these changes
have been really good for business. But for other business owners, Brexit
has really hit them where it hurts. So, let’s go and meet one of them. That’s Abdul Ahad. He’s a
curry house owner in London. He says the Brexit Leave campaign has promised
he would be able to hire more migrants from countries like India
after the U.K. left the EU. I was in favour of Brexit because of the promise
of helping our industry to employ South Asian chefs. But so far, those promises
haven’t come through. Hospitality businesses all across the country are facing
major staffing shortages of low-skilled workers. It’s estimated there will be a recruitment
gap of more than 1 million workers by 2029. And despite the increase in
immigrants from South Asia, they’re not helping to fill the
gap left behind by EU citizens. That’s because only highly-skilled migrants
like doctors, nurses and IT workers are benefitting from
Brexit-related policies. This is because of a U.K. government
policy, which only grants work visas to non-EU migrants if they
earn more than £30,000. Dr Ramesh Mehta says the National
Health Service has reached out to him, asking for his help in recruiting
more Indian doctors. The reason for that is the way Indian subcontinent
doctors are trained is similar to the U.K. system. Also the medium of instruction is English, which makes
Indian doctors a lot more easier to be absorbed. The U.K. government actually
took it one step further in 2018. It temporarily lifted the cap on the number of visas that
were handed to doctors from non-EU countries. There was no choice
for the Home Office. They need more medical workforce, and the
nursing workforce from non-EU countries. Experts are saying this trend
could actually continue. Currently, EU migrants don’t
need a visa to work in the U.K. But in theory, after Brexit they will, which means that EU and non-EU migrants
will be on the same level playing field. The U.K. government says it will scrap an
immigration system that favors nationality and will create one based on skills. So now highly-skilled workers
from around the world will be favored over lower-skilled
migrants, regardless of nationality. And while that helps fill some big recruitment
gaps in the U.K., that doesn’t solve the problem being faced by Abdul Ahad
and others as they prepare for Brexit. We have a lot of time and money invested into
our business and we want to make it better and we want to plan for the future. Thank you so much for
watching my first video. Comment below if Brexit has affected
you and don’t forget to subscribe. Bye for now!

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