British ministers supported an immigration reform bill, part of the move towards the government’s new points-based immigration system, which will be introduced from 2021.
Under the new system, the government would be able to significantly curb low-paid and “low-skilled” immigration, particularly from central and eastern Europe. Opposition officials say the bill suggests that thousands of front line health care workers are “unwanted” across the country.
Shadow Secretary of State Nick Thomas-Symonds said that under the new program nurses, doctors, shop workers and staff who came to the UK from abroad and who played a central role in the response to the coronavirus, would not be eligible. He added that the system sends a signal that anyone earning less than £ 25,600 (€ 28,500) is “unqualified”.
The Immigration and Social Security Coordination Bill (withdrawal from the EU) would remove Britain from EU free movement rules. It received a second reading by 351 votes to 252 – 99 majority.
“We end free movement, regain control of our borders and respect citizens’ priorities by introducing a new points-based immigration system in the UK that will reduce the total number of migrants,” said the secretary. at Priti Patel when she announced the news in February.
“We will attract the brightest and the best from around the world, stimulate the economy and help our communities unlock the full potential of this country,” she added.
“This is a bill that will result in the loss of several thousand EU citizens in this country overnight and will further extend the scope of the hostile environment,” said the spokesman for L immigration of the SNP, Stuart McDonald.