MPs met and raised questions on the progress Priti Patel has made on introducing a new points-based immigration system in the House of Commons at the beginning of the week. The Home Secretary’s bill had its general principles approved by Parliament in May, and it is now going on to receive further scrutiny. David Wood, the former director general of Immigration Enforcement at the Home Office, warned Times Radio the Government’s new law proposal could run into a huge snag early in its implementation.
A Migration Advisory Committee report concluded migrant workers entering into the country was not a very significant influence in bearing down on the level of wages.
Mr Wood said he “wholeheartedly agreed” with its findings.
He told Times Radio: “I think immigration into the country has provided benefits.
“But I can ascertain the policy intentions, what the Government is trying to achieve.”
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Mr Wood continued: “At the end of the day, if the hospitality sector can’t run without migrants and can’t secure the employees then something will have to change. For obvious reasons, we’ll need those employees.
“Whether that will change by them paying higher wages in order to attract British nationals.
“But prior to COVID, we had an unemployment rate in this country of about four percent, which in reality is full employment.
“There’s always a small percentage of people who for whatever reasons won’t be in employment.”
The bill also repeals EU freedom of movement and introduces the new framework for who can come to live in the UK.
The Home Secretary claims the Government’s plans will lead to a “high skill” economy.
She told the Commons: “At a time where an increased number of people across the UK are looking for work, the new points-based system will encourage employers to invest in the domestic UK workforce, rather than simply relying on labour from abroad.
“But we are also making necessary changes, so it is simpler for employers to attract the best and brightest from around the world to come to the UK to complement the skills we already have.”
Labour have said they will scrutinise the proposals “very carefully”, but noted that the Government had “rushed through immigration legislation with very little detail in the middle of a global pandemic”.