• Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill

    11 March 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill and other immigration issues. 

    I welcome the commitment of the Government to building a single, global immigration system which considers people on skills, rather than nationality. I am clear that 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 Government is clear that this means continued work to bring net migration down to sustainable levels while ensuring the UK continues to attract and retain those who come to the UK to work and bring significant benefits. I am glad Ministers share my view that this should not include an open door to those who do not. The future border and immigration system will support the UK economy, but also address the public’s concerns.

    As you know, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has suggested a salary threshold for skilled workers of £30,000. This is to ensure that migrants are making a positive contribution to the UK economy, paying into the public finances and not placing downward pressure on earnings. 

    Designing a comprehensive new immigration system will of course take time and consideration. That is why the Government has taken on board the MAC’s proposals, while continuing to consult employers, devolved authorities and others to determine whether the threshold is at the right level. As the White Paper released before Christmas makes clear, the Government believes there should be some flexibility where skills are in shortage.

    I understand that Home Office guidance is clear that immigration detention must be used sparingly and for the shortest period reasonably necessary to achieve its purpose. I welcome the fact that officials at the Home Office are reviewing how time limits work in other countries. Once this review has been completed, the Home Secretary will consider the issue of time limits on immigration detention further.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General