It's good to read your considered advice in this thread.
l'm looking to move from Australia to UK soon and my research aligns with your advice.
From my perspective, l see the "only way" to penetrate the UK marketplace is:
- by having a UK Work Permit, or firm Offer of Work in-hand
- by looking for work in smaller niche Consultancies
- by focussing on a discrete area of work (Audit; Tax; etc)
- by flexibility regarding remuneration; location; work type etc
Notwithstanding the Doom & Gloom from Michael and me there are opportunities for good, experienced candidates who can prove they're willing to work and, that they can deliver Premium ROI..
Best regards in your search efforts - David