Boris Johnson promised to introduce an Australian-style immigration system last night, despite warnings that it will do nothing to reduce the number of migrants coming to the UK.
In a major policy announcement to get his campaign back on track, Mr. Johnson revived his commitment from the EU referendum campaign to have a & # 39; difficult & # 39; point-based system, modeled on the Down Down scheme used.
It was because Mr. Johnson was criticized by a leading Brexiteer for his claim that there would be no trade rates for UK exports in the case of a No Deal Brexit. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox – who supports Jeremy Hunt as leader – accused Mr. Johnson of relying on & # 39; assumption & # 39; instead of & # 39; facts & # 39 ;.
Mr Johnson's immigration pledge would mean that the British system would target highly qualified workers – and could result in a ban on people over 50. Future migrants should get a firm job before traveling and demonstrate & # 39; a skill to speak English & # 39 ;. They could not claim benefits until they have completed a qualification period at work.
Johnson said: & # 39; We must be very open to highly skilled immigration such as scientists, but we must also assure the public that if we leave the EU, we have control over the number of unskilled immigrants entering the country. We must be harder for those who abuse our hospitality. Other countries, such as Australia, have great systems and we should learn from them. & # 39;
Boris Johnson promised to introduce an Australian-style immigration system last night, despite warnings that it will do nothing to reduce the number of migrants coming to the UK
Sources in the Johnson campaign team last night said the legislation would be immediately implemented through changes to the existing Immigration Act.
But the new system will not be operational until 2021 and the announcement did not mention Tory's promise to reduce net immigration, which stands at 283,000 a year, to & # 39; tens of thousands & & # 39 ;.
The system will be based on the scheme used in Australia, where potential migrants are scored on a point system to determine their value for the economy. Important factors include qualifications, skills and age. Applicants must be less than 50 years old to apply. EU migrants would not receive special treatment. But Mr. Johnson said that EU citizens who are already here would unilaterally protect their rights even if Britain leaves the EU without closing a deal.
But the think tank of Migration Watch last night warned that there was little evidence that the Australian design would address public concerns about immigration levels.
It said: & # 39; This statement simply removes all major issues. There is no question at all of reducing net migration, let alone how it can be achieved. The UK has had a point-based system for almost ten years and it has not worked. & # 39;
Meanwhile, Dr. warned Fox said that a trade settlement would require the EU leaders to agree, after Mr. Johnson had suggested that trade with the EU could continue, even now there is no deal.
Brexiteers have long referred to the provisions of GATT 24 – the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – to suggest that trade with the EU could be continued without rates under No Deal. They say that this provision is a & # 39; standstill & # 39; in trade relations for up to ten years while a deal is being negotiated. But Dr. Fox said bluntly: & # 39; This is not the case & # 39 ;.
Future migrants should have a solid job before traveling and demonstrate & # 39; a skill to speak English & # 39;
And Mr. Hunt said last night: & # 39; There is no No Deal route that allows us to take advantage of GATT. & # 39;
The line exploded as a leading Tory said that Mr. Johnson would be willing to brave a parliamentary edict telling him to stop No Deal.
Mr Johnson has promised that the UK would leave the EU before Halloween, but MPs opposed to No Deal are expected to use every path of Parliament to try and stop it.
Yesterday, Dominic Raab, who supported Mr. Johnson after giving up his own leadership ambitions, said a Commons motion opposing No Deal & # 39; no legal effect & # 39; and could simply be ignored.
n Justice Minister David Gauke said last night that he would stop the cabinet if Mr. Johnson became PM.
Gauke, who opposes a No Deal Brexit and supports Rory Stewart for the lead, told ITV: & I would not serve. I could not fully support him. & # 39;
Hunt: Why I am proud to have millions in the bank
Jeremy Hunt stated yesterday that he is proud to be a multi-millionaire.
The Tory leadership hopefully responded to a suggestion from BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine that he is the richest member of the cabinet.
It came when Mr. Hunt's campaign accelerated, gained support from fellow cabinet ministers, Rory Stewart and Damian Hinds, and Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.
The foreign minister will announce today that if he becomes prime minister, young people starting businesses and hiring staff will be waived from their tuition fees.
Mr. Hunt earned £ 14 million after selling his educational courses Business Hotcourses two years ago.
When he defended his wealth on Radio 2 yesterday, he said: & # 39; I don't think we should delve into the policy of envy. & # 39;
Jeremy Hunt, pictured in Chelmsford, stated yesterday that he is proud to be a multi-millionaire
Asked by Mr Vine – one of the BBC's best-paid presenters – he said: how much he was worth, Hunt said: & Hold on. My salary when I ran my business was much lower than your salary, if I may say. & # 39;
Just call me Jeremy Stunt
From selfies to driving a taxi, Jeremy Hunt took part in a series of photo stunts when he supported his leadership in Essex yesterday.
The Foreign Minister was suggested slurping on a strawberry milkshake in Chelmsford, saying it & # 39; a big improvement & # 39; was on the one who was thrown over Brexit party leader Nigel Farage last month. He also stopped for selfies, visited a hairdresser on Canvey Island and gave a passenger a ride in a taxi.
He also bought a few orchids for his wife and joked with a florist: & # 39; I always call her Japanese, while in reality she is Chinese. & # 39;
Mr Vine earned between £ 440,000 and £ 450,000 last year for his work on Radio 2 and the Eggheads game show.
Mr. Hunt argued that a successful entrepreneur is a positive thing and added: & # 39; We need to encourage people who take risks, set up businesses, and create jobs.
& # 39; It is not offensive – I am proud of my business success. & # 39;
Mr. Hunt, 52, claimed that his business background would help him get the best deal from Brussels.
During a dial-up session, a caller told Mr. Hunt that he believed the EU treated us & # 39; like dirt & # 39; in Brexit conversations. The Foreign Minister replied: "That is exactly what I feel. I do not think they have shown our respect. & # 39;
He will announce today a plan to scrap college graduate debts if they create a start-up with more than ten people for five years. Currently only 1 percent of graduates start their own business.
Hunt will say: & # 39; If we want to boost our economy and take advantage of the Brexit, we need to support young entrepreneurs who take risks and create jobs. & # 39;
Jeremy Hunt participated in a series of photo stunts when he supported the support for his leadership offer in Essex yesterday. Pictured: visit to a hairdresser in Canvey Island
He also drove a taxi in Canvey Island as part of his Tory leadership campaign today
The Foreign Minister was suggested to stop for selfies in the center of Chelmsford
The minister of foreign affairs told an internet follow-up from Tory that he wanted to introduce online voting for general elections. & # 39; I think it will encourage more participation in democracy, & # 39; he said.
Mr. Hunt also came in a row about his answer in an online Q&A session on Tuesday evening.
After a Tory councilor asked how he would unite the country after the Brexit, he replied: & Deliver a Brexit that works for the 48 percent, not just the 52 percent – a positive, open and internationalist Brexit, Great Britain Britain, not Little England. & # 39;
Some Boris Johnson supporters accused him of describing Brexiteers as Little Englanders, which he denied.
So can BoJo REALLY claim that No Deal means no rates at all?
Analysis by Jack Doyle
What did Boris claim?
In the BBC debate last week, the Tory leader's favorite was pressure on his No Deal Brexit policy.
When he feared the effects of the tariffs (import duties) that would be imposed by the EU on the production and export of agricultural products, he insisted: "There will be no rates, there will be no quotas". Mr. Johnson claimed that he could achieve a "standstill" in the current arrangements under Article 24 of the Tariffs and Trade Agreement (GATT). A & # 39; downtime & # 39; is a jargon to suggest the status quo until a new agreement is reached.
What is GATT 24?
It is an obscure part of the international GATT convention, but is crucial in the context of the Brexit.
Opponents point out that No Deal would mean that the UK would trade with the EU on the so-called World Trade Organization rules, which means that high tariffs for many UK exports would harm trade. But Brexiteers use GATT 24 as an escape clause, arguing that these negative effects can be avoided.
That's how Boris is?
No, not really – and he's just as admitted. In theory, the EU could indeed authorize an interim agreement under GATT 24, which would keep rates at zero in the short term. But it would be completely within their gift. Johnson did indeed admit to LBC on Tuesday when he said we GATT 24 & # 39; not one-sided & # 39; could use.
Yesterday, former Brexit secretary (and Johnson lender) Dominic Raab said that it would be up to the EU alone to decide whether the rates were imposed because Britain would not.
What does the EU say?
Several EU leaders have rejected the idea of zero rates in the case of No Deal.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that the idea that Article 24 could be used to avoid tariffs without an agreement was "completely wrong".
Officials point out that GATT 24 already exists within the withdrawal agreement, as part of the Northern Ireland backstop, which Mr Johnson has said is "dead".
What about Boris & # 39; critics, including Brexiteer Liam Fox?
Trade Secretary Dr. Fox, who supports Jeremy Hunt for Tory's leadership, rejected Mr. Johnson's claims and pointed out that GATT 24 would work in the short term if it agreed with the EU & # 39; would require.
He also accused Mr. Johnson of favoring "premise" over "facts."
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was equally contemptuous and said that GATT 24 only applies "if you have an agreement … not if you have decided not to conclude an agreement or to reach an agreement".
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