The 2nd reading of the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU ithdrawal) Bill

This Bill will provide the legal framework for our future immigration system, ending free movement of people while protecting the rights of Irish citizens and allowing for social security co-ordination where necessary.

The British people have consistently voted to bring free movement to an end. The Immigration Bill marks a key milestone in delivering this promise by introducing a points-based immigration system that will put an end to the European Union’s rules on free movement. In its place, the Bill will introduce a fairer and skills led immigration system which gives priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents and allows them to benefit from a more flexible and streamlined system. The Home Secretary said: “Our new points-based system is firmer, fairer and simpler. It will attract the people we need to drive our economy forward and lay the foundation for a high wage, high skill, high productivity economy”. Our future immigration system must ensure that we continue to attract the best workers who can contribute to and drive our economy forward, and this Bill will mean that the UK remains a welcoming place for highly skilled migrants.

I join you in recognising the incredible contribution of immigrants working in the NHS and in other essential roles throughout this pandemic. I am grateful to each and every one of our key workers who are putting their lives at risk in order to save lives. The Immigration Bill will create an immigration system which gives the UK the power to determine who comes to this country; the new points-based system will attract the most talented and skilled workers who will complement the skills already here. The Government values the vital role of doctors, nurses and paramedics from all over the world in our fight against the coronavirus, and the new system will therefore make it easier and quicker for talented and dedicated medical professionals around the world to work in the NHS through a new fast-track NHS visa.

I would like to end by saying that the UK has a proud history of being a welcoming nation- the Government has been clear that it acknowledges the value and contribution immigration has made to the UK. The Immigration Bill is a once in a generation opportunity to create a post-Brexit immigration system that allows us to continue to welcome those who want to make a contribution to our economy and society.

Thank you once again for getting in touch, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of help in any way.