Liz Truss is planning to launch a major review of the country’s visa system in order to address critical labour shortages in key industries.
Truss is set to contravene some of her Brexiteer Cabinet colleagues by changing the “shortage occupation list,” allowing certain industries, such as broadband engineers, to bring in more staff from overseas.
According to a report citing a Downing Street official, the review could also recommend relaxing the requirement to speak English in certain sectors in order to allow more foreign workers into the country.
The Prime Minister, who took office earlier this month but has had little time to flesh out her vision for the country since Queen Elizabeth’s death, said during a trip to New York last week that she was willing to make unpopular decisions as the government seeks to stimulate economic growth.
According to the Sunday Times, the UK government intends to lift the cap on seasonal foreign workers working in agriculture.
Some Brexiteers in the Cabinet are expected to be outraged by the move, with Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg already telling colleagues that he would only support the new immigration plans if they were proven to increase GDP per capita.
A senior government source told The Sunday Times: “There is a view within the Treasury that migration is good for growth. That is a view that appears to be shared by the PM and the chancellor.
“We cannot tear up our immigration rules. People who voted for Brexit want to see controlled migration.”
Julian Jessop, an economist and Brexiteer, welcomed the Prime Minister’s move, saying, “Another important shift towards ‘free market’ economics.”
“A more flexible migration policy is also good for productivity and hence per capita GDP, as well as the total.
“The usual suspects will cry ‘what about Brexit’?
“Short answer: the UK can have a flexible policy on migrants coming here (even ‘free movement’, if you want it) without being a member of the EU.”