The Brexit campaign might have died out, but its ghosts refuse to die!
The PBS (points based system) propaganda rattled microphones and managed to ruffle news pages after UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, suggested introducing an Australian-style immigration PBS to slash migration levels. Though considered as one of the illustrious promises of the Brexiteers, it isn’t necessarily a phenomenal idea, according to all UK nationals.
The first fact to realize is that Australia’s immigration levels are way higher than Britain’s. The ratio of every immigrant let in by Britain versus Australia is 1:2. Clearly, double the proportion! Simply because Australia is enormous, sparsely populated and its immigration system is formulated to draw settlers to move there.
The points-based system was devised as a process for job seekers, to move to Australia before they land any jobs. Folks with job offers relocate there on work visas. The ones without offers can apply for permission to land first and then seek jobs if they obtain enough points. So if one wants to cut down job-seeking immigration levels, then the last thing would be, wanting an Australian PBS.
The second fact is that Britain already has its own version of immigration PBS since 2008 when the former Labour government thought it appeared tough and would look good in the headlines!
Migrants to the UK from outside of EU need to qualify for one of many types of visas, and accumulate points based on educational qualifications, a job offer, English language skills etc. However, using points does not impact immigration levels in itself.
The third fact to discern is that points-based systems are immensely statist and bureaucratic. The bureaucracy might be worth it if talented workers are attracted who don’t yet have jobs. But if the aim is to increase Britain’s productivity by hiring workers, it’s better to let employers make headway. If reduction of numbers is what the Government wants, then a cap on unskilled worker migration would be simpler.
The fourth final fact is that Australia has a very tough system – for refugees, but not for migrants. Maybe that is why one associates the Australian policy with toughness, which is the primary reason why it was utilized as a headline in the course of Brexit.
Currently, refugees aren’t allowed to claim asylum in Australia. They are often denied refuge and are sent back to their countries or worse…shipped to miserable detention centers overseas. Recently, a leaked collection of documents revealed inmates of detention centers – even children, suffering abuse and cruelty at the hands of guards.
No one in Britain realistically is suggesting Australia’s refugee policy to be adopted as an immigration system!