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Theresa May could stop Boris' plans for points-based immigration

She did not rule out giving EU migrants preferential treatment as part of any post-Brexit deal.

Published: 05th September 2016 08:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th September 2016 08:29 AM   |  A+A-

China G20_Mukh

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May listens to Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech during the opening ceremony of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. (Photo|AP)

THERESA MAY has said that she is prepared to block Boris Johnson's plans for a points-based migration system after Britain leaves the European Union.

Mr Johnson and four other Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers put plans for an Australian-style immigration system at the heart of the Leave campaign.

Yet the Prime Minister yesterday criticised them for assuming a points-based system is a "silver bullet", adding that there is no evidence it will work.

Critics have suggested that the system could actually lead to increased levels of migration. The Prime Minister is instead considering a work permit system, which would enable Britain to introduce quotas on the numbers of migrants for parts of the economy.

Mrs May, speaking at a G20 summit in China alongside other world leaders, also declined to commit to a series of other flagship Leave campaign pledges, including using EU contributions to give the NHS an extra pounds 100?million a week and cutting VAT on energy bills.

She did not rule out giving EU migrants preferential treatment as part of any post-Brexit deal, insisting that she did not "want to give away any part of our negotiating hand". Mrs May said: "One of the issues is whether or not points-based systems do work.

"The voice of the British people is very clear. They wanted control.

"They didn't want free movement to continue as it had done in the past.

"We will be going out there to deliver on that." She added that there is no "single silver bullet" that is the answer for immigration.

Under the Australian system, migrants are only granted skilled migration visas if they pass a points test based on what type of job they do, their age, English language skills, previous employment and education.

Mrs May has been a long-term critic of the approach because it grants migrants automatic entry if they have the right number of points, regardless of whether they have a job lined up.

Her comments come as David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, is due to make a statement in the House of Commons today praising the opportunities Brexit will bring.

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