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MPs to vote on bill which repeals EU freedom of movement | Politics News

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MPs are due to vote on the government’s plan to repeal EU freedom of movement, as the UK moves towards a new points-based system.

The government says the new points-based system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the new system as “firmer, fairer and simpler”.



June Sarpong



Is the points-based immigration system fair?

She said the new law gives the UK “full control of our immigration system for the first time in decades and the power to determine who comes to this country.”

She added: “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.”

The legislation, the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, will be debated in the Commons today before making its way through the parliamentary process.

It was previously introduced in the Commons in December 2018 but stalled weeks later as then-prime minister Theresa May’s minority administration lacked the numbers to win key Brexit-linked votes.

Boris Johnson has brought it back with an 80-seat majority but faces pressure to support those dubbed “key workers” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the government’s list of critical workers are people in the food production and processing industry, including delivery drivers and those working in waste disposal.

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The new system will award points for specific requirements such as being able to speak English to a certain level, having a job offer from an approved employer and meeting a salary threshold of £25,600.

Other points could be awarded for certain qualifications and if there is a shortage in a particular occupation.

You can read how it will work here.

In March, a visa allowing doctors, nurses and health professionals from overseas to work in the NHS was introduced.

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) suggested that 54% of Britons would support easing immigration restrictions for workers who were defined as essential during the coronavirus crisis.

Satbir Singh, chief executive of the JCWI, called for further changes.

He said: “The fight against COVID-19 has shown us all just how much our survival and wellbeing depends on our key workers.

“So many of them have come from other countries and help keep this one running.

“Bus drivers and lorry drivers, care workers and shop workers, nurses and cleaners – they are not ‘unskilled’ or unwelcome, they are the backbone of our country and they deserve the security of knowing that this place can be their home too.”

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “It is rank hypocrisy towards our NHS and care workers – over 180,000 in England and Wales alone – to stand and clap for them on a Thursday night, and then tell them that they are not welcome in the UK on a Monday.

“The Home Secretary has been invisible throughout this crisis – and now her first major intervention is a bill that will make workers in the NHS and the care sector feel unwelcome in this country, as well as labelling retail workers, carers, local government workers, refuse collectors, and many more as ‘low skilled’ – the very same workers who have been keeping this country running throughout the crisis.”

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