Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
British High Commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing has said the new United Kingdom (UK) immigration policy is to the advantage of Nigerians.
The British High Commissioner made the disclosure at a welcome home ceremony for returning Chevening scholars in Abuja.
Laing said unlike in the past when the United Kingdom used to give priority to European Union citizens, the United Kingdom had decided to make its immigration policy equally open to all.
“Well, as I mentioned, the point about it is that it is completely neutral. It is open to everybody and except that anyone can apply under the new system. It doesn’t come in yet. This is being tried for a while after we’ve left the European Union at the end of the year,” Laing said.
Asked about the negative impact it may have on Nigerians, the High Commissioner further said none at all, except that the reverse was the case.
“For Nigerians like Chevening scholars, who are very well qualified and you secure a job in the UK, it should be easier to come to the UK.
“The point is, it is an open scheme, open to everybody. Well, it is before, when we were part of the European Union, we had to give preferential access to European migrants. Now, this is open, this will be more open,” Laing added.
Recall that the United Kingdom had on February 19, 2020, came up with what it called ‘The UK’s Points-Based Immigration System: Policy Statement’.
The United Kingdom said the policy sets out how the UK will fulfil its commitment to the British public and take back control of its borders.
“We are ending free movement and will introduce an Immigration Bill to bring in a firm and fair points-based system that will attract the high-skilled workers we need to contribute to our economy, our communities and our public services. We intend to create a high wage, high-skill, high productivity economy.
“We will deliver a system that works in the interests of the whole of the UK and prioritises the skills a person has to offer, not where they come from,” the statement read.