When people voted to leave the EU, they did so in the knowledge that the free movement system imposed by the EU would end. The Home Secretary has been clear that she has a particular responsibility to take back control and bring an end to free movement once and for all. In order to do this, the Government has introduced the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Commons. This Bill will end free movement and ensure that the Government has full control of our borders for the first time in many decades.
I welcome the Government’s commitment to build a fairer single, global immigration system which considers people based on their skills, rather than their nationality. The Home Office has now released a policy statement outlining that it will replace free movement with the UK’s very own points-based system. This new system will prioritise those with the highest skills and greatest talents, including scientists, engineers, academics and innovators.
I believe that the new system will do more than simply control immigration. I am glad that the Government has committed to reducing the overall levels of migration while ensuring that we attract the best and brightest from across the world. This process is also about the creation of a high wage, high skill, high productivity economy, and therefore explains why the Government will not be introducing a general low skilled or temporary work route. I am, however, examining the situation in relation to a number of industries including agriculture. I welcome this approach as the UK needs to move away from relying on cheap labour and focus instead on investment in technology and automation.