A month after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to commission a report into Australia’s points-based migration system, he still hasn’t done so, according to the independent committee that would be charged with conducting the review.
“For years, politicians have promised the public an Australian-style points based system,” Johnson said on July 25 in his first speech to the British parliament after replacing Theresa May as PM. “And today I will actually deliver on those promises — I will ask the Migration Advisory Committee to conduct a review of that system as the first step in a radical rewriting of our immigration system.”
But the committee said Johnson’s government has yet to request the review.
“At present we have not received the commission to look at an Australian points-based system for the U.K.,” a Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) official said. “We look forward to receiving more detail on the commission in due course.”
According to the MAC official, it could take about six months to produce a report, though the actual timing would depend on the details of the commission itself.
“I don’t know if they’re going to give us this [commission] separately or as a sort of light-touch one as part of another commission. That’s what we’re waiting for at the moment — whether it’s going to be a real in-depth one, or an initial look and then an in-depth one later,” the official said. “I can’t give you more information at the moment because we’re not sure ourselves.”
Speculation about the commission “stemmed from just a comment [Johnson] made in parliament,” the official continued. “It’s much more work than just saying that and then expecting the answers, isn’t it?”
A No. 10 spokesperson said: “The PM has instructed the Home Office to task the MAC,” and “they will be actioning this in due course.”
A Home Office spokesperson said that Johnson has “set out this government’s ambitious vision for a new immigration system that is open to the world and brings the brightest and best to the U.K.”
“As part of this, the home secretary will shortly commission the independent Migration Advisory Committee to review the Australian-style points-based system,” the spokesperson added.
Earlier this month, a spokeswoman for the prime minister said Johnson’s post-Brexit immigration plan is still “being developed” but insisted that freedom of movement “will end” on October 31, when the U.K. is due to leave the EU. “The prime minister has obviously been clear he wants to introduce an Australian-style points base immigration system,” the spokeswoman added at the time.
Johnson backed the points-based system when he led the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum, and has repeatedly said he wanted to introduce the system in the U.K. after Brexit.
Emilio Casalicchio contributed reporting.
This article has been updated with a response from a Home Office spokesperson.Read More