Brexit must be used to guarantee British jobs for British workers, former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has warned.
The former work and pensions secretary set out a blueprint for a permit system that would use an existing government database to block low-skilled foreign workers.
Mr Duncan Smith also took aim at the BBC saying: Never a day goes by when the BBC can’t find something miserable to say about Brexit.
He said the broadcaster and senior politicians had been overwhelmingly downbeat following the vote because they were locked to the idea of staying in the European Union.
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Duncan Smith accused the Government of failing to do enough to train and support workers in lower-skilled professions, causing them to be left behind.
That failure had allowed low-skilled migrants from Eastern Europe to replace the native workforce, triggering tensions between communities, he said. Unveiling a plan for a permit scheme he also called on the Prime Minister to step up and make the positive case for leaving the EU.
He said: The Remain campaign was complacent, patronising and a touch arrogant and I think the reaction afterwards has been all of those things. The complacency has now gone but you’re left very much with a renewed arrogance about this. I want to see the Government step up and say we don’t think this is a problem at all, we think this is a phenomenal opportunity.
Mr Duncan Smith, who resigned his Cabinet role earlier this year, did not rule out a return to government, adding: If there ever was a time to be in government since the war this is it right now.
Calling for a system similar to the American Green Card, he said: The question should always be asked, are there people in the UK who can do this job? You start with the premise that you want to employ people here so you need to advertise the job here.
I set up this thing called Universal Job Match and all the people at the DWP who fall unemployed are put on to that and there is a CV in there that has all their skill levels so at the push of a button the DWP is able to figure out in their areas who has what skills and who is unemployed.
The former Tory leader said the system could be used to set quotas for the number of people allowed into the UK based on the need for skills.
He warned that some employers were bypassing government-run job centres and advertising their vacant roles abroad because they knew they could find cheaper workers in the EU.
Short-term migrant labour from countries such as Poland has had a massive and damaging effect on British citizens trying to find work and housing because young men come to the UK for short periods, send money home and hot-bed in poor housing to make the most of low-skilled work, he added.
He said EU migration skews everything government does and voiced his support for Theresa May’s target to cut net migration to the tens of thousands, saying it was realisable but would require tight controls.
He said: It’s like having the front door shut and the back door wide open … now you get to regulate both doors and that’s why the best way to do it is through a work permit process and ensuring that those that come do so after it’s clear that there are no British people around that can do that job at that skill level. You focus more at the lower-skilled areas.
Mr Duncan Smith, who founded the Centre for Social Justice think tank, revealed his joy at Mrs May’s decision to make social justice the focus of her time in Downing Street. But he warned that he would hold ministers to account as a back-bench MP, adding I will be critical of areas where I think they’re not getting it right.
He also said that the Government must not get bogged down in the details of Brexit and should instead accept EU rules and regulations after leaving and repeal them at a later date. The former minister also warned that Mrs May’s plan to help struggling communities must not be tokenistic, adding: It can’t just be a phrase, it has to mean real change from the bottom up rather than the top down.
News Source TelegraphNews