İrem UZUN -TDO- The UK has set out plans to stop relying on "cheap labour from Europe" with a post-Brexit immigration points-based system that prioritizes access for highly skilled workers from across the world. Home Secretary Priti Patel on Wednesday announced the launch of the UK's new points-based visa system, aimed at attracting the "brightest and the best" from the world, including from India, and cutting down numbers of cheap, low-skilled workers coming to the country.

The new measures to attract skilled workers mean potential migrants into the UK will need to demonstrate that they speak English to a “required level”.  They will also need a job offer “from an approved sponsor… at the required skill level”, and to earn more than a minimum salary threshold. The government has agreed to reduce this to £25,600 (€30,843).  In occupations identified as having staff shortages, lower minimum earnings of £20,480 (€24,682) are accepted. The same applies to applicants with a suitable PhD.

Under the system, foreign workers will need 70 points to be eligible to apply to enter the UK. Good English brings 10 points, an approved job offer 20 points, with another 20 points awarded for jobs at an “appropriate skill level”.  Further points are awarded according to salary, in sectors with shortages, and for educational qualifications.

The UK Home Office said the new system is a direct response to the 2016 referendum in favour of Brexit, which was seen as a vote to end the country's reliance on cheap migrant labour and reduce overall levels of migration with tighter security. But industry leaders immediately accused the government of an assault on the economy warning of “disastrous” consequences with job losses and closures in factories and the high street.

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