The Immigration Bill

Thank you for your recent e mail on immigration. The anticipated debate on the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill did not take place due to other parliamentary business taking precedence.

In the light of recent developments  the Government is seeking to build a single, global immigration system which considers people on skills, rather than nationality. When people voted to leave the EU, they did so in the knowledge that the completely free movement system imposed by the EU would end. The Government is committed to continue to 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.

As the UK leaves the EU it is essential that our immigration rules ensure we continue to have an open, dynamic economy and a world-class health service staffed by dedicated professionals. For that reason, the Government is looking to implement a skills-based policy that will apply to both EU and non-EU migrants equally.

The government continues to consult employers, devolved authorities and others to determine the appropriate salary threshold for skilled workers. As the White Paper released before Christmas makes clear, the Government believes there should be some flexibility where skills are in shortage.

We must make sure we have a migration policy that is right for the UK, including the NHS. For that reason, I want to assure you that the Government is open to proposals and is looking eensively at how to ensure this policy delivers.