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Post-Brexit immigration system will “put people before passports,” says Johnson

Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The UK’s post-Brexit immigration system will put “people before passports” and help woo the best talents from around the world, prime minister Boris Johnson vowed on Monday (20), days ahead of the country”s divorce from the European Union.

Speaking at the UK-Africa Investment Summit here, he said post-Brexit the UK’s immigration system would become “more equal”.

The UK is due to leave the European Union (EU) on January 31, 2020, after prime minister Johnson’s Brexit deal was backed by MPs.

“By putting people before passports we will be able to attract the best talent from around the world, wherever they may be,” he said.

Freedom of movement between the UK and EU is expected to end after the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020.

The government says it will introduce an Australian-style points based system by January 2021.

Under this system those wanting to work in the UK could be assigned points based on a number of professional and personal characteristics such as education levels.

Currently, under freedom of movement, EU citizens do not need a visa to work in the UK, but immigrants from outside the EU are subject to a points system based on English language skills, being sponsored by a company and meeting a salary threshold, the BBC reported.

Johnson said immigration would become “fairer… treating The UK’s post-Brexit immigration system will put “people before passports”.

He said immigration would become “fairer… treating people the same wherever they come from”.

He also promised the UK would no longer provide “any new direct official development assistance, investment, export credit or trade promotion for thermal coal mining or coal power plants overseas”.

“Not another penny of UK taxpayers’ money will be directly invested in digging up coal or burning it for electricity,” he said.

“There’s no point in the UK reducing the amount of coal we burn if we then trundle over to Africa and line our pockets by encouraging African states to use more of it,” he said.

“Instead we are going to focus on supporting the transition to lower and zero carbon alternatives.”

According to the Department for International Development, the UK has not provided bilateral official development assistance for coal-fire power generation and coal mining since 2012.

It says that in the future direct support for thermal coal mining and coal-fired power plants from the Department for International Trade will be stopped and refocused on other activity, the BBC report said.