British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reportedly agreed to a salary threshold increase for migrant workers, reaching £40,000, as part of a leadership contest deal made with former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, as per The Daily Telegraph. The four-point plan, aimed at reducing immigration levels, outlines a commitment to raising the minimum salary for skilled workers entering the UK from £26,000 to £40,000.
The plan further entails the cessation of extended visas for graduates, restrictions on the number of dependents entering the UK, and the prioritization of specific universities for student visas. Although there is no formal written agreement between Sunak and Braverman, the latter, in a strongly worded letter post her dismissal, asserted that her acceptance of a Cabinet position was based on "firm assurances" from the Prime Minister regarding key policy priorities, including curbing small boat crossings in the Channel.
Despite Downing Street denying any written pact, Sunak, addressing the Global Investment Summit, pledged more stringent measures to control the influx of workers and students, expressing concern about the high levels of net migration. Recent estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that UK net migration peaked at 745,000 in the year to December 2022, three times higher than pre-Brexit levels. This surge is largely attributed to an increased influx of individuals working in health and social care.
In response, the opposition Labour party has proposed reducing net migration to a few hundred thousand annually within its first term, aiming to return migration to what they consider "normal levels." Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch, suggested on Monday that the salary threshold might be increased as part of broader, more robust measures to decrease migration to the UK.
(With agency inputs)