UK immigration will ‘put people before passports’ — PM Johnson tells African leaders


Peter Walker,

UK Prime Minister Hon. Boris Johnson has officially inaugurated the UK-Africa Investment Summit with a commitment to mobilise new, secure and substantial investment to create sustainable jobs, boost mutual prosperity, boost access to education, improve public services and give young people in Africa the opportunity to shape their own future.

Malawi leader Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is among the African leaders invited to attend the summit which has brought together 21 African countries.

Mutharika amongst the African leaders

Johnson promised that the UK’s new immigration policy will put “people before passports” as he used his first set-piece speech of 2020 to extol the benefits of trade with post-Brexit Britain to a major gathering of African leaders.

The Prime Minister said the UK was the “ultimate one-stop shop” for trade, education and tech.

“Look around the world today and you will swiftly see that the UK is not only the obvious partner of choice, we’re also very much the partner of today, of tomorrow and decades to come,” he said in a speech focusing more on general entreaties than specific policy ideas.

Johnson said people from African countries could benefit from the still-to-be detailed changes to the immigration system after Brexit, which will end the free movement of people to and from EU nations.

“You’ll be pleased to hear that one thing is changing – our immigration system,” Johnson said. “Change is coming, and our system is becoming fairer and more equal between all our global friends and partners, treating people the same wherever they come from.

“By putting people before passports we were will able to attract the best talent from around the world, wherever they may be,” he said.

President Mutharika left Malawi on Friday for this first UK-Africa Investment Summit.