Brexiteers are kidding themselves if they think Australia’s visa system would work in the UK

There’s a thing in politics I call the ‘Swedish Fallacy’, which is the mistaken belief that because Sweden seems like quite a nice place from across the North Sea, whatever policies it has must be worth copying, too.

So you’ll see people on both sides cite some idea as the ‘Swedish model’ – which, as much as I like Swedish models, isn’t quite the same as saying it’s actually a good policy.

Brexiteers do the same thing with the Australian points-based immigration system, a phrase now so well-worn it’s easy to forget that we already have a British points-based immigration system, and whose merits Brexiteers have done virtually nothing to prove.

Alas, there is not much to it. In fact, what these people mean is that we should limit EU immigration by whatever means possible or necessary. The Australian points-based immigration system is just a way of dressing this up in the language of principle.