Sajid Javid urges scrapping of plans for £30k threshold for EU migrants in post-Brexit Britain

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Home Secretary Sajid Javid wants to scrap Theresa May’s post-Brexit plans for a minimum salary threshold of £30,000 for EU migrants. In a sternletter, he urges the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to allow firms to pay the “going rate” for migrants after Brexit, and to review regional wage limits.

Javid also wants MAC to look at exemptions for a range of professions, and whether “new entrants” or inexperienced workers can be paid less.

Just last September the MAC recommended ministers force businesses to pay migrants £30,000 a year or more in post-Brexit Britain. It stated that the strict limit would help to boost wages for UK workers.

Migration Watch said the move was a huge issue to big business and could prevent government attempts to reduce immigration.

Think Tank chairman Andrew Green said, “This looks like an attempt to get some cover for yet more concessions.”

The MAC’s £30,000 minimum salary threshold was detailed in the controversial Immigration White Paper which was released in December.

The threshold was backed by Theresa May, who stated that the MAC had been “very clear.” She was met with bitter opposition from the Chancellor and Business Secretary Greg Clark. 

Javid committed to consult with business on the final level in a compromise. In a letter to Professor Alan Manning, MAC chair, he makes clear that he now wants the Committee to be involved in the process: “The Government is committed to engaging extensively over the course of this year before confirming the level of the minimum salary threshold. As part of this engagement, the MAC is now asked to advise on a number of issues.” They will report back at the end of the year, two months after a possible No Deal departure from the EU.

Recently, official figures revealed that the number of EU nationals working in the UK reached a record high in the three months to March. The Office for National Statistics reported that 2.4 million EU citizens had a job in the UK, up more than 100,000 on the final quarter of 2018.

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