Theresa May meets India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 in China. Credit AFP
By Michael Wilkinson, Political Correspondent
5 September 2016 • 10:15am
May to block Boris Johnson’s plans for points-based migration
Nigel Farage accuses May of ‘backsliding’ on migration pledge
May will not rule out preferential treatment for EU citizens
Australia wants ‘very strong’ trade deal with Britain
May tells India to take back illegal migrants
Theresa May has told India’s Prime Minster that he is failing to do enough to take back immigrants who have overstayed in the UK.
Mrs May met with Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, at the G20 summit.
“We want repatriation of illegal migrants,” a Downing Street source said. “From our perspective an issue is to make sure we speed up the pace of returns of illegal immigrants from India.”
Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor
May hits back at claims Britain’s migration system will be weaker without points based system
Theresa May has hit back against claims that Britain’s migration system will be weaker because she is refusing to introduce a points based system.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “One of the opportunities of Brexit is that we will be able to control the number of people coming to Britain from the EU.
“The precise way in which the Government will control the movement of EU nationals to Britain after Brexit is yet to be determined. However, as the PM has said many times in the past, a PBS will not work and is not an option.
“When Labour introduced a PBS, the numbers went straight up. In Australia, they have a PBS, and they have higher immigration per capita than Britain. A PBS would give foreign nationals the right to come to Britain if they meet certain criteria: an immigration system that works for Britain would ensure that the right to decide who comes to the country resides with the Government.”
Japanese firms could move out of UK, ambassador warns
Japanese companies could move operations out of the UK if Brexit makes it a less profitable place to do business, the country’s ambassador in London has warned.
Koji Tsuruoka said he had spoken with executives at leading Japanese firms in the UK and none of them wanted to pull out.
But he stressed that all options are open to the companies, which have a duty to their shareholders to remain profitable.
Mr Tsuruoka’s warning comes a day after Japan’s government issued a 15-page list of demands aimed at protecting the country’s car manufacturers and financial institutions as well as the jobs of Britons working for Japanese firms after Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May was due to speak face to face with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the G20 summit in China later on Monday.
Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, attending the G20 Summit Credit: Reuters
Mr Tsuruoka told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that hundreds of Japanese companies have operations in the UK, adding: “They are companies responsible to their stakeholders and their duty is to produce profit.
“If the way Brexit ends up does not provide companies with a prospect of making sufficient profit to continue operating in the UK, of course there is no option that they can’t choose. All options are open to them.”
Asked whether that could mean a company like Nissan closing its car plant in Sunderland, Mr Tsuruoka said: “These are exactly the predictions that are going to hurt the future of the economy because these decisions have not been made.
Nissan has a car plant in Sunderland Credit: Reuters
“I have been talking to a number of Japanese business leaders operating in the UK and they all agree that the UK is the best place to do business in Europe. They want to continue to operate from the UK, and the list of issues we have put out to the UK as well as the EU are issues that they are seeking to achieve.
“However, there is a negotiation that will have to be conducted and if these requests are not met, then it will be for industry to decide what to do.”
Farage accuses May of ‘backsliding’ on Brexit migration
Nigel Farage has accused Theresa May of “backsliding” after she abandoned Boris Johnson’s plans for a points-based migration system.
The former Ukip leader said: “Theresa May’s track record on immigration as Home Secretary was appalling and her comments rejecting an Australian-style points system really worry me.
“There is already huge anxiety out there in the country regarding Theresa May’s reluctance to trigger Article 50. Her rejection of the type of migration system so many went out there and voted Leave to see implemented indicates serious backsliding.
Nigel Farage Credit: Steve Finn
“Those of us on the Leave side were perfectly clear in campaigning for strong border controls outside of the EU.
“The people were clear in wanting a points-based immigration system which is why so many went out and voted to Leave the European Union. Any watering down from that will lead to real anger.
“Given that myself and others also campaigned for a migration system that would treat all who wanted to come equally, any preference for EU nationals would be totally unacceptable
“If the establishment think they can stitch-up Brexit then they better be ready for the huge electoral consequences from a British public who on June 23rd voted for radical political change and now expect it to be delivered without failure.”
Juncker tells May to halt her free trade discussions
Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission, has told Theresa May that she should not be holding free trade discussions with other nations while Britain is still a member of the EU.
Mrs May held informal discussions about future free trade deals after Brexit with the US, Australia and India at the G20 summit.
Mr Juncker said: “I don’t like the idea that member states of the EU, including those who are still a member state of the European Union, are negotiating free trade agreements,” he said on Sunday.
Such discussions were an “exclusive matter” for the European Union on behalf of its members and “we are sticking to it”, he told reporters.
Steven Swinford, in Hangzhou
May meets Modi
Mrs May has also held talks with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in Hangzhou.
UK officials indicated before the G20 that the meeting would focus on economic co-operation and trade.
May to block Boris Johnson’s points-based migration plan
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, reports Steven Swinford in Hangzhou.
Mr Johnson and four other Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers put plans for an Australian-style immigration system at the heart of the Leave campaign. However the Prime Minister yesterday criticised them for assuming that a points-based system is a “silver bullet”, adding that there is no evidence it will actually work.
“There is no single silver bullet that is the answer in terms of dealing with immigration”
Critics have suggested that the system, which is used in Australia, could actually lead to increased levels of migration. Mrs May is instead considering a work permit system, which would enable Britain to introduce quotas on the numbers of migrants for different parts of the economy.
The Prime Minister, who has been conducting talks with other world leaders at the G20 Summit in China over the weekend, also declined to commit to a series of other flagship Leave campaign commitments, including using EU contributions to give the NHS an extra £100million 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”.
She said: “You really don’t want to ask a former Home Secretary about the intricacies of points-based systems. 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.
“A lot of people talk about a points-based system as always being the answer in immigration. There is no single silver bullet that is the answer in terms of dealing with immigration.
“You have to look across the board. You have to look at the whole range of issues, not just how you bring control through the rules you have for people coming in, but also making sure you are rooting out abuse in the system and dealing with people if they are discovered here illegally.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attended a Cabinet meeting hosted by Theresa May at the Prime Minister’s country retreat, Chequers, before the G20 Summit Credit: Stefan Rousseau
Other Cabinet ministers who have backed a points-based system include Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary, Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary and Andrea Leadsom, the Environment Secretary.
Mrs May said: “People voted for a points-based system, that’s what they thought they were choosing. People voted I think for control. What they wanted to see was control in the movement of people from EU countries into the UK.”
During the EU referendum campaign Mr Johnson made a joint statement calling for an Australian-style points system with Mrs Patel and Michael Gove, the former justice secretary.
Theresa May in Hangzhou for the G20 Summit. Top of her agenda will be addressing concerns over trade deals after Brexit Credit: Getty
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.
However 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.
She said in June 2010, shortly after her appointment as home secretary:
“Under the points-based system the impetus is with the individual migrant: if they have the right number of points, they can decide whether they want to try to come into the UK.
Under our system, we are saying, ‘We do want to welcome the brightest and the best, but we recognise that it is necessary to have a limit because we want to ensure that we are able to control immigration.”
The approach has been heavily criticised by migration experts, who have pointed out that the system is actually used to increase the level of migration.
Lord Green of Deddington, the head of Migration Watch, has described a points-based system as “fool’s gold” and called for a work permit system to be introduced instead.
US-Russia talks on Syria end without a deal as Putin and Obama due to meet
The latest round of talks about curbing the violence in Syria have ended without a deal.
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov failed to overcome differences at a morning meeting.
The diplomats have been trying to broker a cease-fire between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and moderate rebels that would expand access to humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire. The strategy has hinged on an unlikely US-Russian militarily partnership against extremist groups operating in Syria.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the private negotiations.
The diplomatic failure comes as President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are due to meet Monday on the margins of the G-20 summit.
North Korea fires three ballistic missiles off east coast, says Seoul
North Korea fired three ballistic missiles off its east coast Monday, Seoul said, a new show of force that comes hours after South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sideline of the G20 Summit.
More details on Ukraine to be released later
Reporters covering the summit had no access to the private meeting between the Barack Obama, Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel to review the status of the conflict in Ukraine.
The White House said it would release more details on the talk later on Monday.
After weeks of intensifying fighting between government forces and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, a new cease-fire took effect last week and has been holding.
US and Russia fail to reach Syria deal as differences remain
Top diplomats from the United States and Russia on Monday failed to reach a deal to ease fighting in Syria, with a senior State Department official saying differences remained.
The official said a fresh round of talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the margins of the G20 summit in Hangzhou had ended without agreement.
Obama meets Hollande, Merkel on G20 sidelines to discuss Ukraine
US President Barack Obama on Monday met on the sidelines of the G20 summit with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the situation in Ukraine, a White House spokesman said.
Theresa May: Australia will be one of the first countries will be looking to
Theresa May has said that Australia will be one of the first countries that Britain will look to for a future free trade deal as she hailed the “long-standing ties” between the two nations.
Speaking after a bi-lateral meeting Mrs May said: “It is a historic decision for British people. It will be a complex and challenging process leaving the European Union.
“But I’m very clear that it doesn’t mean that we are going to be inward-looking. In fact, we want to be even more outward-looking around the whole of the world. And obviously, Australia, with our longstanding ties and our close relationship, will be one of the first countries will be looking to.”
Mr Turnbull said that Britain and Australia are “great friends” as he pledged to provide “all the support and assistance that we can” with Brexit.
He said: “Britain’s made a very momentous and historic choice to leave the European Union and we have already been engaged in discussions with you about what the free trade arrangements may look like after that.
“Australia is determined to provide Britain with all the support and assistance that we can. We are such great friends, such strong allies. (There) couldn’t be two countries with closer bonds.”
Xi Jinping reaffirms China’s commitment to denuclearising Korean peninsula
Chinese President Xi Jinping has told his South Korean counterpart that China is opposed to the deployment of a powerful US anti-missile system in her country.
During their bilateral meeting on Monday’s final day of the G-20 meeting, Mr Xi warned that “mishandling the issue is not conducive to strategic stability in the region, and could intensify disputes.”
North Korea launches a ballistic missile. AFP photo
China has responded angrily to Seoul’s decision to base the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system south of the South Korean capital, Seoul.
While Seoul and Washington say the system is intended solely to defend against North Korea’s missile threat, Beijing says it will allow the US military to peer deeply into northeastern China.
Beijing’s reaction has also stoked public outrage, threatening everything from tourism exchanges to appearances by K-pop stars in China.
Australia says wants “very strong” Britain free trade deal
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wants to negotiate a “very strong” free trade agreement with Britain after it leaves the European Union.
Mr Turnbull spoke ahead of a formal meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of the G-20 economic summit in China.
Malcolm Turnbull with Theresa May
Mr Turnbull told reporters that British Prime Minister told the Australians she “remains very grateful for the assistance we are providing, both legislative and in terms of other resources.”
“And of course, from our point of view, getting in to deal with the British early and making sure we can negotiate a very strong, very open free trade agreement once they are actually out of the European Union.”
EU immigration to the UK
Just over three million EU-born people currently live in the UK, approximately 1.9 million of whom are employed here.
Over the last five years the rate of immigration from the EU has increased by 51 per cent, while non-EU immigration has fallen eight per cent.
The Migration Observatory figures put this rise down to the introduction of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU. Still, however, the annual number of non-EU immigrants is just higher than those from the EU.
The number of people immigrating from the EU nearly equalled the number from outside the EU in 2015
Non-EU Citizens277,000EU Citizens270,000British Citizens83,000
Immigration to the UK in 2015. An earlier version of this graphic wrongly aggregated quarterly data, giving inaccurate figures for which we apologise Source: ONS
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