Immigration Bill - March 2019

I welcome the commitment of the Government to building a single, global immigration system which considers people on skills, rather than nationality. The Government is clear that free movement of people must end and 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.

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.

Home Office guidance is clear that immigration detention must be used sparingly and for the shortest period reasonably necessary to achieve its purpose and 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.