The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has backed a proposal for Australians to live and work freely in the United Kingdom.
The proposal comes from a report published by Tim Hewish of the Commonwealth Exchange, urging the British government to create a bi-lateral mobility zone between the two countries. You can read and download the report here.
The report recommends a similar arrangement to that of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (TTTA) that exists between Australia and New Zealand, allowing citizens to freely move, live and work between both countries.
The report also indicates that the number of Australians migrating to the U.K is down from 40,000 in 1999 to 26,000 in 2011, and a new migration scheme between the U.K and Australia would dramatically improve those figures.
After a trip to Australia in 2013, the Mayor of London indicated how a new immigration scheme should exist between the two countries, stating the “British are more deeply contacted with Australians – culturally and emotionally – than with any other country on earth“, and was also impressed by the success of the Australian economy.
The report also quotes an un-named Australian nurse who was forced to return home after spending 2 years in London due to an expired visa:
“I didn’t have a workplace willing to sponsor me…what really upsets me is the fact that I am a nurse. Anyone can see the UK is in dire need of well-trained Western nurses. I know because I worked alongside many European nurses that had poor English skills and whose clinical skills were borderline dangerous“, she said.
An Australian teacher, working in the U.K, also told the report how ridiculous and difficult it was for Australians to live and work in the U.K.
“The amount of processes that Australian and New Zealand and other Commonwealth citizens have to do just to stay in the UK is absolutely ridiculous. Something needs to be done“, she said.
Johnson also stated a bi-lateral mobility zone would also apply for British citizens wanting to live and work in Australia.
“The issue may come down to political climates and the resulting political will. The UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand share the same head of state, the same language and the same common-law legal system. Critically, they are all highly economically developed democracies and there is also a distinct common culture and familial bond between them“.
Information and statistics provided by Commonwealth Exchange: “How to solve a problem like a visa“- 2014
Media source by Daily Mail: “London Mayor wants to make it easier for Aussies…” – 2014
Media source by Sydney Morning Herald: “Let Australians live and work in Britain” – 2014
Image provided by: www.thedrum.com – John McCarthy