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Brexit: Leaked document suggests UK plan to curb EU migration
BBC News/Sept. 5, 2017


Proposals aimed at cutting the numbers of low-skilled migrants from Europe following Brexit have been disclosed in a leaked Home Office paper.
The document, obtained by The Guardian, suggests free movement will end upon exit in March 2019 and the UK will adopt a "more selective approach" based on the UK's economic and social needs.
Access to labour in industries without shortages may be curbed, it suggests.
The BBC understands the document has not been signed off by ministers.
A spokesman for the government said it did not comment on "leaked draft" documents.
They said ministers would be setting out their "initial proposals" for a new immigration system "which takes back control of the UK's borders" later in the autumn.
Downing Street has long maintained that the current unconditional right of EU citizens to live and work in the UK will come to an end on the day that the UK leaves the 28-member bloc.
It is also likely that there will be an implementation period to minimize disruption to businesses and to the public services, many of which are heavily reliant on European labour.
However, details of the likely shape of the UK's post-Brexit immigration policy remain hazy with a proposed immigration bill, one of eight pieces of Brexit-related legislation, yet to be published.
Passport needed
The Home Office document obtained by the Guardian, entitled the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System After the UK Leaves the EU, is marked extremely sensitive and dated August 2017.
Among the ideas set out, the 82-page document suggests low-skilled migrants would be offered residency for a maximum of two years while those in "high-skilled occupations" would be granted permits to work for a longer period of three to five years.
Employers would be encouraged to focus recruitment on "resident labour" and EU nationals could be required to seek permission before taking up a job. While there would be no new border checks on entering the country, all EU citizens will be required to show a passport.
"The government will take a view on the economic and social needs of the country as regards EU migration, rather than leaving this decision entirely to those wishing to come here and employers," it states.
It also floats the idea of ending the right to settle in Britain for most European migrants and placing new restrictions on their rights to bring in family members.
The new measures, it indicates, would only come fully into force at the end of a transition period, which could last up to three years. It is understood that the document is a draft, unfinished version of an upcoming White Paper circulated among senior officials and that there have been at least five earlier versions.
A leading campaigner for tougher migration controls said the document's thinking was "excellent news".
"Uncontrolled migration from the EU simply cannot be allowed to continue," said Lord Green, chairman of Migration Watch. "These proposals rightly focus on low-skilled migration and by doing so could reduce net migration from the EU by 100,000 a year over time.
"This would be an important step to achieving the government's immigration target."
'Confused'
UKIP also welcomed the proposals, saying they should be implemented "without fudging" and prioritize the needs of communities up and down the country as well as those of workers and businesses.
However, Labour MP Yvette Cooper said the document appeared to fly in the face of Home Secretary Amber Rudd's commitment earlier this summer to consult on a post-Brexit immigration system.
"The process for developing its policy seems to be completely confused. What assessment has been done of the impact or the interrelationship between immigration proposals and any trade or single market deal?"
The TUC said the "back of the envelope plans" would "create an underground economy, encouraging bad bosses to exploit migrants and undercut decent employers offering good jobs".
The government has said it is sticking by its target of cutting levels of net migration from about 250,000 last year to less than 100,000 despite calls from the opposition and some Conservative MPs for it to be dropped.

And in Canada…


Justin Trudeau criticized for not supporting UN treaty on banning nuclear weapons
By Mike Blanchfield/The Canadian Press


OTTAWA - The unfolding North Korean nuclear crisis is exposing Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to international criticism that it is too soft on nuclear disarmament - and too close to the sabre-rattling Trump administration.
International anti-nuclear activists call it a development that could have ominous implications for the government’s bid to win a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2019.
Trudeau called on the Security Council to take “decisive action” against North Korea following Sunday’s report of a nuclear detonation by Pyongyang - the latest in a summer of provocations on the Korean Peninsula.
However, Canada has not supported a broader effort by the full UN General Assembly to create a treaty that would outlaw nuclear weapons, a document that opens for signing when world leaders meet in New York later this month.
More than 120 countries support the treaty, and with Canada seeking a temporary seat on the UN Security Council in 2019, two international anti-nuclear groups say Canada’s stance could hurt its ability to win a seat.
Countries vying for a seat on the UN’s most powerful body need the support of at least 128 countries in the General Assembly.
The treaty has no support among the countries that actually have nuclear weapons, including the United States, and their military allies, including NATO and Canada.
“While we’ve seen a lot of nice words come out of the Trudeau government, policies haven’t really followed - not on nuclear weapons, and not on other weapons issues that Canada has traditionally led on,” Beatrice Fihn, the head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said Tuesday from Geneva.
“Even if you’re in a military alliance, your military alliance can’t be based on having to support Donald Trump’s threats to use weapons of mass destruction.”
Having a strong position on disarmament that is distinct from the five permanent members of the Security Council - all of which have nuclear weapons - can play an important role in campaigning for a temporary two-year seat on the body, she said.
The Trudeau government is in the same tight spot as all of its fellow non-nuclear NATO countries: nuclear weapons are at the core of the alliance’s defence policy, said Alyn Ware, the founder of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.
If Canada supported the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, it would undermine NATO’s strategic doctrine and place Canada at odds with the alliance, said Ware, whose group is based in Hamburg, Germany.
NATO solidarity could have consequences in a future Security Council vote, Ware said in an interview Tuesday.
“When it comes to the Security Council, you need the vote in the General Assembly, and in the General Assembly, the majority of countries are anti-nuclear.”
Adam Austen, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Canada supports “concrete” and “meaningful” steps towards disarmament. He cited Canada’s push to revive the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, which would be designed to rid the world of the key bomb-making ingredients.
The government also supports an initiative by Norway to “create a group of governmental experts on nuclear disarmament verification, one of the most challenging obstacles to nuclear disarmament,” he said in an email.
Fihn, Ware and others say Canada needs to do more, including working within the NATO alliance to soften its nuclear policy.
“I don’t think Canada belongs on the Security Council unless it wants to do the right thing by signing the treaty,” said Metta Spencer, a Canadian disarmament advocate and editor of the quarterly Peace magazine.
“Canada could sign the treaty, but with a statement that we’re staying inside NATO and we’re working to get NATO to change its policy.”
Douglas Roche, a former Canadian senator and disarmament ambassador, said Canada’s highest foreign policy goal should be to sign the treaty and push for NATO to rid itself of nuclear weapons.
“A moment in history has arrived in which Canada will have to decide if it supports nuclear deterrence or nuclear abolition.”