Brexit: Tory minister mocks Macron for calling Boris a clown
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Der Freitag issued an attack based on the UK’s Global Talent visa, which offers fast-track routes for people considered to be leaders in their fields. It claimed there was never any doubt that this scheme would be a “bust” which would result in the Government “making a mockery of itself”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel launched a new visa route within the Global Talent scheme in May this year in an attempt to attract leaders in science from around the world to Britain.
There are a number of fast-tracked routes under the scheme allowing people to gain a visa more quickly than most.
Winners of prestigious global prizes, such as a Nobel Prize, are offered the fastest route and can be awarded a visa without having to complete some of the criteria under the wider scheme.
But a Freedom of Information request by the New Scientist has found that in the months since the scheme was launch, no one working in science, engineering, the humanities or medicine has applied for a visa through this route.
For Uwe Schütte, who taught at an English university before returning to Germany “because of Brexit”, the reason for this was clear.
He wrote in der Freitag: “Nobody, really nobody wants to join Boris Johnson in Great Britain.”
He added: “That is the bitter reality of the universities in Brexit Britain.
“And Nobel Prize winners have better options in other countries anyway.”
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The admission from the Home Office that no foreign leaders have applied for a UK visa via this route has also received mockery in Britain, though some commentators have noted that the scheme is faulty not because no one wants to come to Britain but because other such schemes already exist.
Neuropsychologist Dorothy Bishop at the University of Oxford questioned in the New Scientist why the scheme was launched in the first place, given that other pre-existing visa routes are quick-moving.
Andrew Clark at the Royal Academy of Engineering added that his organisation is happy with the current number of applications across all immigration routes for foreign scientists.
He said: “In many cases applicants would be eligible for multiple routes.
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“We wouldn’t want to focus on the use of any particular route over a six-month period, but rather the overall success.”
Government figures show that, since the launch of the UK’s points-based immigration system, 126,000 migrants entered Britain via the Skilled Worker route, and 2,786 visas were issued under the Global Talent route.
Mr Schütte, channelling Emmanuel Macron’s rhetoric by referring to Mr Johnson as a “clown”, also blamed Brexit for causing shortages in supermarkets earlier this year, despite supply issues hitting most of Europe, too.
That included Germany, with reports last month showing a shortage of geese, a German favourite at Christmas.
WELT highlighted that the shortage could push geese prices up by as much as 20 percent, making them inaccessible for many Germans.
der Freitag sits on the left of the political divide and has a circulation of close to 25,000, according to IVW.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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