British immigration policies could hurt Australian workers: high commissioner

CANBERRA, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Australian workers could find it harder to access jobs in Britain and afford the National Health Service, following the announcement of new immigration policies by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Australia's High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, told Fairfax on Friday that May's Conservative Party was "going for broke" with their commitment to bring down the number of people migrating to the UK for work.

"Assuming the Conservatives win the election, the only way (Australians) will get any improvement in our situation will be in the context of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations," Downer said.

Australia and the UK are in primary negotiations of constructing a Free Trade Agreement following the Brexit referendum.

The new immigration policies are part of May's Conservative party manifesto, which she launched in Yorkshire on Thursday ahead of the June general election.

This news comes as more Australians than ever before are migrating to Britain to take jobs, according to statistics released on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics in the UK.

There are more Australian and New Zealand-born workers in the UK labour force than at any time in the last 20 years -- 157,000 in the first quarter of 2017.

[ Editor: meng ]


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