EU referendum: Vote Leave sets out alternative immigration plan on points-based system

James Nickerson
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Passport control at Gatwick Airport
Vote Leave said: We will welcome new citizens who wish to contribute to our society (Source: Getty)

Brexit campaigners have warned on immigration again today, with Vote Leave's top brass announcing that the UK should adopt a points-based immigration system if it leaves the EU.

Messrs Johnson and Gove, as well as Priti Patel, unveiled a joint statement that said "such a system can be much less bureaucratic and much simpler than the existing system for non-EU citizens", while also working better for the economy and being "more humane".

The campaigners are putting together an alternative plan to current rules, under which skilled migrations visas are issued if migrants pass a points test based on the type of job they do, their age, English language skills, as well as other characteristics.

Read more: EU membership matters to Britain's advanced manufacturers

In the statement, the politicians said: "By the next General Election, we will create a genuine Australian-style points-based immigration system.

"The automatic right of all EU citizens to come to live and work in the UK will end, as will EU control over vital aspects of our social security system. We think that this system will be fairer, more humane, and better for the economy.

We will welcome new citizens who wish to contribute to our society, as so many immigrants have done. And we will be able to remove those who abuse our hospitality.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage took to Twitter to state that it is the "same policy I've advocated for years".

Immigration remains a key battleground in the EU debate, and an analysis of polls states Leave campaigners are right to focus on it given the concerns people have about it.

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However, those campaigning for a Remain vote have been suggesting that Vote Leave is turning to immigration because Leave has lost the economic argument.

Britain Stronger in Europe said in response: "Vote Leave's proposal could put up immigration and it would wreck our economy, as it involves leaving Europe's single market.

"Australia, who have a points-based immigration system, have twice as many migrants per head as the UK."

In other news the Trades Union Congress has backed Remain, arguing wages could be lower if the UK votes to leave the EU.