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The bill is part of Boris Johnson’s “take back control” promise to the British people on delivering Brexit and will bring an end to unfettered free movement from the EU.
It is due to come into effect in January at the end of the transition period and means that for the first time in decades the UK can decide who is allowed into the country.
In an exclusive comment piece for the Sunday Express, Home Secretary Priti Patel, a veteran Brexit campaigner, has promised that the new points based system will mean the country can attract the “brightest and the best.”
She said: “This historic piece of legislation ends the European Union’s free movement of people and lays the foundations to build a fairer, firmer, skills-led points-based immigration system.
“For the first time in decades, the UK will have the power to determine who comes to this country.”
She went on: “We know this will mean changes in the way businesses operate and recruit but by doing this now we are giving businesses time to prepare and adapt as the economic recovery gathers pace.”
But she also made clear that coronavirus has highlighted the need to easily recruit doctors and nurses from abroad.
She said: “Alongside our new immigration system, we will introduce a new fast-track NHS visa to ensure the NHS can continue to access highly skilled medical professionals from across the world. As part of this, the visa fee will be reduced and those applying can expect a decision on whether they can work in the UK within just three weeks.
“We’ve also automatically extended visas for current NHS workers and their families.”
The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020 which was introduced on 5 March will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons tomorrow.
The new points-based system will play an important role in creating a dynamic economy that works for the whole of the UK. That is why it is important we provide certainty on the new system now.
A Home Office spokesman said the department is continuing to engage and work extensively with employers to understand their needs and encourage them to attract the best home-grown talent.
He said: “We recognise the tremendous contribution people are making to keep vital services running during this incredibly difficult time and the dedication shown by millions demonstrates to employers the skills and work-ethic we currently have here.
“Employers focus should be on upskilling and valuing the current work force, combined with the very best talent from across the world, to create a high wage, high-skill and high productivity economy.”
This Bill is a historic step towards delivering a fairer, firmer, skills-led system that works for the whole of the UK.
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