The Commonwealth Games logo, on display in Glasgow for the 2014 tournament Photo: Lawrence OP
The report has been backed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who wrote a foreword to the publication.
“I see the fantastic contribution immigrants make to London’s culture and economy every day,” he wrote. “However, the UK needs immigration controls, and an end to porous borders. But we also need a flexible, dynamic workforce.
So we should welcome the brightest and the best from a wider range of countries. As we re-examine our relationship with the European Union, we have a vital opportunity to recast our immigration system in just this way. And the first place to start is with the Commonwealth.”
“It seems that almost all parts of the Commonwealth are brimming with a new energy and optimism, at precisely the time that the European Union is struggling. As we reconsider Britain’s place in the world,” he added, I want us to reconsider how we engage with Commonwealth peoples.”
Boris proposes a bilateral migration agreement between Australia and the UK, which could then be rolled out to other countries in the Commonwealth.
The report bases its proposals on the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (TTTA) between Australia and New Zealand.
“The TTTA should be seen as a starting point for the UK to build a flexible, fair, reasonable and reciprocal regime,” wrote report author Tim Hewish. “New Zealand’s two-year wait for welfare provision and five-year wait for eligibility for citizenship appear sensible ideas that the UK may wish to replicate.”
“I am not necessarily endorsing all of the report’s recommendations,” added Johnson, “but I am welcoming its approach.”
Source: The Movechannel