As the Home Office put it, "People will have to become licensed to sponsor family members to visit from abroad under the proposed changes to the visa system." A proposal so far, but who will oppose it? Not the Conservative party, for which immigration rules can never be strong enough. Not perhaps the Liberal Democrats either, ahead of an election where every party's nightmare is to be seen as 'soft on immigration'.
The proposal will have to go through Parliament, and that may happen quietly. Under the law, the secretary of state has authority to make rules on immigration. These rules will not require amendments to primary legislation unless, theoretically, the opposition were to demand it. Changes in basic law are usually such that they draw long debates, unlike those in rules, because they come in the nature of nuts and bolts of a law in place. So, Britain looks set to have now an upper strata of licensed hosts.