MPs to vote on bill which bans low-skilled immigrants from UK

MPs are due to vote on the government’s plan to ban low-skilled immigration as the UK moves towards a new points-based system.

The government says the new points-based system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the new points-based system as “firmer, fairer and simpler”.

She said the new law gives the UK “full control of our immigration system for the first time in decades and the power to determine who comes to this country.”

She added: “It will attract the people we need to drive our economy forward and lay the foundation for a high wage, high skill, high productivity economy.”

The legislation, the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, will be debated in the Commons today before making its way through the parliamentary process.

It was previously introduced in the Commons in December 2018 but stalled weeks later as then-prime minister Theresa May’s minority administration lacked the numbers to win key Brexit-linked votes.

Boris Johnson has brought it back with an 80-seat majority but faces pressure to support those dubbed “key workers” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the government’s list of critical workers are people in the food production and processing industry, including delivery drivers and those working in waste disposal.

The new system will award points for specific requirements such as being able to speak English to a certain level, having a job offer from an approved employer and meeting a salary threshold of £25,600.

Other points could be awarded for certain qualifications and if there is a shortage in a particular occupation.

You can read how it will work here.

In March, a visa allowing doctors, nurses and health professionals from overseas to work in the NHS was introduced.

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) suggested that 54% of Britons would support easing immigration restrictions for workers who were defined as essential during the coronavirus crisis.

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