by Philippe Legrain
"Australia’s immigration system is hardly exemplary. Its devilish bureaucratic complexity is a gift to the country’s many immigration lawyers and a bane for the economy as a whole. This complexity provides ample lobbying opportunities for big, politically connected businesses, while depriving start-ups and growing smaller businesses of the employees they need. So when Brexiteers claim that “Such a system can be much less bureaucratic and much simpler than the existing system for non-EU citizens”, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
Indeed, Vote Leave betrays its economic illiteracy when it suggests that migrants should be selected on the basis of their skills. The area of fastest employment growth in Britain is care for the elderly. These are low-skill jobs that young Britons spurn. A skills-biased points system would deprive elderly Britons of proper care. And it would damage British businesses that rely on EU migrants to pick fruit, process food, clean offices and much else – and thus harm their customers too."