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Limits on Non-EU Economic Migration

Volume 512: debated on Monday 28 June 2010

Immigration has enriched our culture and enhanced our society. Britain can benefit from immigration, but not uncontrolled immigration. The levels of net migration seen under the previous Government—an annual figure of almost a quarter of a million at its peak in 2004—were unprecedented in recent times. It is this Government’s aim to reduce the level of net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s—tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands.

Of course, it is necessary to attract the world’s very best talent to come to the UK to drive strong economic growth, but unlimited migration has placed unacceptable pressure on public services and, worse, severely damaged public confidence in our immigration system. Our over-reliance on migrant labour has done nothing to help the millions of unemployed and low-skilled British citizens who deserve the Government’s help to get back to work and improve their skills. The coalition’s programme for government confirmed the Government’s intention to introduce an annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants admitted into the UK to live and work. We have always said that we will consult on the implementation of that limit. It is important that the Government take full account of the views of business and other interested sectors. We want to ensure that we can properly weigh the economic considerations against the wider social and public service implications.

I am therefore launching a consultation today on the mechanisms for implementing that annual limit, including questions about the coverage of limits, as well as the mechanics of how they will work in practice. The consultation also recognises the need to attract more high net-worth individuals to the UK through the routes for investors and entrepreneurs, which will not be covered by limits, and we ask for views on how that can be achieved. At the same time, I have commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to provide advice to the Government on the levels at which limits should be set for the first full year of their operation, which I intend should be from April 2011.

I am sure that all Members of the House would agree with me that the Migration Advisory Committee has an excellent track record in this area, and I want to take this opportunity to record my thanks to David Metcalf and the rest of the committee for taking on this critical piece of work. The consultations will be complete by the end of September, and I intend to make final announcements about the first full annual limit before the end of the calendar year.

It is important that today’s announcement does not lead to a surge of applications during this interim period, which would lead to an increase in net migration, undermining the purpose of the limit and putting undue strain on the UK Border Agency. I am therefore also taking a number of interim measures, and I have laid a statement of changes to the immigration rules in support of those measures. First, I am introducing an interim limit on the number of out-of-country main applicants to tier 1 (general). For 2010-11, this route will be held flat from the equivalent period for 2009-10. The tier 1 routes for investors, entrepreneurs and the post-study route are not affected. Secondly, to ensure that those who do come through this route are the brightest and best, I am raising the tier 1 (general) pass mark by five points for all new applicants.

Thirdly, I am introducing an interim limit on the number of migrants who can be offered jobs by sponsor employers through tier 2 (general). This route will be reduced in the interim period by 1,300 migrants, the equivalent of a 5% reduction across the relevant routes of tiers 1 and 2. The tier 2 routes for intra-company transfers, ministers for religion and—I am not sure whether to say this, given the comments at the end of the Prime Minister’s statement—elite sportspeople are not affected. These interim measures will take effect from 19 July.

It is vital that we restore public confidence in our immigration system. Our plans to do that extend much further than the measures I am announcing today. We support e-borders and the re-introduction of exit checks. We have said that we will create a dedicated border police force to enhance national security, improve immigration controls and crack down on the trafficking of people, weapons and drugs. We have committed to improving our asylum system to speed up the processing of applications. We have said that we will end the detention of children for immigration purposes, and the UK Border Agency has already launched a review engaging a wide range of experts and organisations on how to achieve this.

Our commitment to reduce net migration will require action, as I am sure the right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle (Alan Johnson) will indicate in a moment, beyond the economic routes. It may assist him if I tell the House now that I will be reviewing other immigration routes in due course and will be bringing forward further proposals for consideration by the House. And, of course, unlike the previous Government, we are committed to applying transitional controls for all new EU member states.

The commitment to introduce limits on non-EU economic migration is a major immigration commitment of the coalition Government. Today’s announcement is a key step towards the delivery of that commitment, and I commend this statement to the House.

I thank the right hon. Lady for a copy of the statement. I am pleased that she has come to make the statement to the House. However, I had already seen the statement she has just made because it was handed to me by a journalist this morning at 11.15.

Obviously, the Home Secretary originally intended to lay a written ministerial statement today. Indeed, the title was laid last Friday. This morning I sought that written ministerial statement. I was told that the Home Office was having a press conference prior to issuing the written ministerial statement—something unknown in my time as a Minister. Therefore, I sought the written ministerial statement again. At 11.15 am a journalist who had been to the press conference handed to me a written ministerial statement that is almost precisely the statement that the right hon. Lady has just made.

I hope the Home Secretary takes the matter seriously. As I am sure you will agree, Mr. Speaker, Members of the House have a right to see written ministerial statements before they are circulated to the media.

The Home Secretary’s announcement represents nothing more than a small adjustment to the points-based system. It was spun to the media over the weekend as a profound adjustment to net migration. Migration to this country has gone up. If the Prime Minister were talking to his French and German colleagues, he would know that there were 4 million migrants in Germany, 4 million in France and about 1.5 million in this country. Since the 1990s, the last time the Conservatives were in power, there has been a huge explosion of migration around the world, as the UN has detailed.

Yes, migration has gone up since the last time the Conservatives were in power, but will the right hon. Lady confirm that net migration has fallen substantially over the past three years? Will she confirm that tier 1 migration—the most highly skilled—fell by 44% in the first quarter of this year? What is the problem with skilled migration that she seeks to resolve? Will she also confirm that the number of asylum seekers has fallen to the levels last seen in the early 1990s—a third of their peak, and the same peak everywhere else in Europe? We are 15th in Europe regarding the number of asylum seekers per head of population.

Will the Home Secretary continue to support the points-based system that we introduced, which ensures that no unskilled worker can come to this country—the door has been closed on tier 3 for the past two years—and that skilled workers under tier 2 can come to this country only if their sponsoring employer has advertised that job in Jobcentre Plus for four weeks prior? Can she confirm that she intends to continue with those measures, which we introduced?

How many skilled workers will be denied entry to the UK under that temporary cap, and what percentage of total net migration will that represent? What makes the Home Secretary think that the UK can avoid the problems the US experienced when President Bush introduced a quota on skilled migrants, with disastrous consequences and a whole series of readjustments 10 years ago? Can she give an example of the problems caused to our society by skilled migrants coming to the UK under the current flexible arrangements?

What effect does the right hon. Lady think her announcement today will have on population growth? Over the weekend I heard Government Members speculate that this morning’s announcement—this trivial adjustment —will somehow ensure that our population avoids reaching 70 million. Does she believe that? If so, how does she think that that will happen?

Given that this measure has been Conservative policy since the less progressive “Are you thinking what we’re thinking?” days of their 2005 manifesto, why have they as yet failed to come up with a figure for their pre-determined quota? Does the right hon. Lady intend to implement fully Labour’s tough measures to deal with the abuse of tier 4, the student route, which, along with spousal visas and EU migration, will be totally unaffected by the cap she has announced today?

Today’s announcement will affect fewer than one in seven migrants to this country, and those whom it will affect are the migrants our economy needs the most. If the cap is set too high, it will be meaningless; if it set too low, it will damage our economy. At best it is a gesture; at worst it is a deceit. The Home Secretary knows that a cut in her Department’s budget of one third, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies—25%, according to her right hon. Friend the Chancellor—will have disastrous consequences for border control. Is that not the real reason for controlling immigration, rather than this artificial and unnecessary tinkering at the edges?

Let me first address the right hon. Gentleman’s point about the written ministerial statement and my coming to the House. He is absolutely right: I had intended to make a written statement, and the title was indeed placed before the House so that Members could be made aware of it. Over the weekend I spoke to the Government Chief Whip about the possibility of changing that statement into an oral statement, because at the time I felt it more important to come to the House to make an oral statement, which is precisely what I have done. The right hon. Gentleman said, “Will I take this issue seriously?” Government Members have taken Parliament seriously over the past 13 years, so I shall take no lessons from him or any of his colleagues about taking it seriously, given how they bypassed Parliament for 13 years and reduced the House’s powers to hold the Executive to account.

The right hon. Gentleman talked about migration figures, but immigration actually tripled under the Labour Government. It is our desire to get the number down from the hundreds of thousands a year that it has reached under Labour to tens of thousands a year. If he wishes to look at numbers, he should look no further than the past comments of the former Home Secretary, the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough (Mr Blunkett), who said that there was “no obvious upper limit” to immigration. It is this Government who are taking the issue seriously, who promised that they would do something about it and who are taking the action that is necessary.

The right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle made a number of comments about technicalities and the issue of jobs being advertised for four weeks in a jobcentre. Currently, immigrants can come into the country if the resident labour market test or the shortage occupation list requirements are met. We are consulting on whether they should be combined so that a tier 2 migrant is able to come in if both tests are relevant and met. That would be a significant tightening of the current rules.

The right hon. Gentleman asked about the wider social impact, as opposed to the economic impact. He has only to go out and talk to people about the pressure in some areas on public services, hospitals and schools. Another issue that his Government failed to get to grips with over the years is the significant number of unemployed people in this country. Some of those people do not have the necessary skills to get into the jobs that are available, but the job of the Government is to ensure that they do have those skills and to give them the support they need to get into those jobs, rather than simply thinking that the answer is to pull in migrant workers from elsewhere.

The right hon. Gentleman referred to students. If, instead of commenting on the statement he thought I was going to make, he had listened to the statement that I made, he would have heard me say that we would indeed be looking at other immigration routes in due course and bringing further proposals to this House. I recognise that this is one part of the job that we are doing as regards immigration, and other measures will come forward in due course.

The right hon. Gentleman asked why we did not yet have a figure for the annual limit on immigration, despite the fact that this has been a Conservative policy for some time and was in the coalition agreement. I can tell him why not: because we have, for some time, been committed to going out there and consulting those who will be affected—businesses, public service providers and others—about what the limit should be. As I said, the Migration Advisory Committee will be advising the Government and recommending what that annual limit should be. Of course, this is in sharp contrast to the approach of the previous Government, who, in one consultation exercise after another, merely paid lip service to consultation because they had already decided what they were going to do. People then got fed up with being asked to give comments and finding that Government took no notice. We are genuinely consulting people and will be listening to the responses that we get.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that although individual employers may benefit by importing cheap labour, as a nation we will get richer only if our existing employees are enabled and encouraged to acquire skills themselves so that they can produce more, and enrich themselves and the country, rather than have those incentives to acquire skills undermined by the importation of cheap labour from abroad?

My right hon. Friend makes an extremely valid point. This is another area where frankly, yet again, the Labour Government failed over the course of 13 years: they failed to ensure that people in this country had the skills necessary to get the jobs that become available. This Government, through our welfare reform proposals and our work programme, will be helping people and giving them much more support to get into the workplace, whereas under the Labour Government economic inactivity in the UK rose significantly. Many migrant workers were being brought in from overseas, and limiting that number will be part of the process of ensuring that we are able to help people to get out of unemployment and into the workplace.

The Home Secretary’s cap, if I may call it that, is a departure from existing policy, because this is the first time we have had a definitive figure. How did she arrive at the figure of 24,100? What will we do about the 24,102nd person who applies and is turned down? Will we give them the right of appeal if they have the skills necessary to help our country? What resources does she propose to give to posts abroad, which will be overwhelmed by a stampede of applications over the next year? Will she come before my Committee as soon as possible to discuss these matters further?

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for raising those points. He mentioned the possibility of a stampede at posts overseas in relation to this matter. The whole point of having the interim limit set over the next nine months or so, until the permanent annual limit comes into place, is precisely to avoid that stampede. It will not be possible for people to say that they are going to try to apply to come here before that limit comes in, because we have the interim limit, which we have set at slightly below—5% below—the numbers for the past year.

The right hon. Gentleman said that this is a change in policy. It is indeed, because under the points-based system the impetus is with the individual migrant: if they have the right number of points, they can decide whether they want to try to come into the UK. Under our system, we are saying, “We do want to welcome the brightest and the best, but we recognise that it is necessary to have a limit because we want to ensure that we are able to control immigration.” I am sure that Members across the whole House will agree that that is the view of many members of the general public who have raised this issue with them.

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s sensible and proportionate measure. There have already been representations about it on the radio this lunchtime from care home owners. Will she gently remind them that there are 1 million young people unemployed in this country, who would welcome the opportunity to have training and employment in the care homes sector? Is it not a shame that some employers, and the Opposition Front Benchers, seem to put a vote of no confidence in our young people?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his sensible and wise point. Of course, there will be those whom businesses want to bring in from abroad, and as I have said, we will raise the number of tier 1 general points required to ensure that they genuinely bring in the brightest and best. However, there are indeed sectors of employment in which many unemployed people would be very happy to train, and to take up the job opportunities that would then be available to them. As I have said, it is a great sadness that so many young people are unemployed in this country today and have not been given such opportunities as a result of the failure of the previous Labour Government.

Does the Home Secretary accept that her statement will be widely welcomed throughout most of our constituencies, but that during the election voters expressed another worry, which was that we are growing our population through immigration? At what stage will she consider the last Labour Government’s proposal to break the link between coming here to work and gaining citizenship? If we are to prevent our population from passing 70 million, we need to control both the number of people coming in and the number who can permanently settle here.

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for having raised that point. I said in my statement that what I have announced today is but one part of what we are doing about immigration into this country. We have already made a statement about tightening the English language requirements for people coming here to marry, and we will examine all immigration routes into this country across the board.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that we need to carry on this important consultation in a measured and considered way, given that it is controversial but very important? We need to avoid unfair discrimination, particularly as most people coming from outside the EU are not white and not Christian. That must include discrimination against people who are skilled but not academically skilled—who come here to do skilled jobs in the catering trade, for example. Finally, will she ensure that we consult on having the best possible border police force, incorporating customs, police and immigration, thereby saving money and breaking down entrenched divides that are not working in the public interest?

On the last of my hon. Friend’s points, we will bring forward in due course more detailed proposals on the policing of our borders. On his earlier points, I draw his attention to the consultation document, which has fairness as one of its objectives, including fairness in ensuring that individuals have some understanding of the system and an expectation of whether they are likely to be able to come here under our proposals. The whole point of the consultation is to discuss with businesses and others what the best system would be and how it should operate to provide business with the flexibility that it requires, within the constraint of the annual limit.

Will these strictures apply to those usually immensely wealthy employers from the middle east who bring with them their own domestic servants, usually of nationalities not in the middle east? That practice has been deemed slavery, given the appalling treatment that is often meted out to those workers by their employers, not least having to work incredibly long hours, usually for no money. There have been allegations of physical and sexual abuse, and there is an almost invariable practice of the employer stealing the employee’s passport. Will the strictures apply to those individual employers, and will those practices be stopped?

The hon. Lady raises an important point about the treatment of individuals who are brought here on the basis of working for others. I believe that Members in all parts of the House recognise that there are problems that need to be addressed, and we will indeed do that.

My right hon. Friend has made a powerful and welcome statement, particularly in her points about skills. Does she agree that another key factor in our social problems today is a lack of adequate housing in many areas, and that in deciding on the future direction that immigration should take, the overall population factor mentioned by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field) is extremely important? We should consider the issue of housing in particular.

My hon. Friend makes an extremely important point. Housing is, indeed, one of those wider social issues that will be taken into account in the consultation, and I am sure that the Migration Advisory Committee will take it into account as it looks at wider social issues other than just the economic impact of immigration into this country.

May I agree with the Home Secretary that immigration has enriched our culture and enhanced our society? I welcome the fact that she intends to consult business and other interested parties on the implementation of the new rules. May I ask for that to include further detailed discussions with the Scottish Government, particularly the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, and Scotland’s universities, to make sure that the difficulties that we have had under the current regime in recruiting world-class academic and research staff are not made worse, and to make sure that the reputation of those universities is not weakened?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that point and for reminding me that I did not make it clear in my statement that we will, of course, be consulting the devolved Administrations. Indeed, my hon. Friend the Minister for Immigration has written to the devolved Administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales today on exactly this point.

I thank the Secretary of State for her statement, which I am sure will be welcomed by my constituents who have been concerned about uncontrolled immigration. She talked about migration within the European Union. Will she give some indication of the process and timetable in relation to agreeing transitional controls on migration from new EU partners?

The process is very clear and is set out in the treaty. What happened previously was that the previous Government—certainly for the first tranche of accession countries that we have seen in recent years—simply failed to put those transitional arrangements in place, whereas other EU member states such as Germany did. We are absolutely clear that, with any future new EU member state, we would put those transitional arrangements in place.

A certain someone, who is often described as a towering intellect of this House, said that the right hon. Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) was planning a cap on workers, not on dependent immigrants, students or asylum seekers, so it would not work. That someone is the Business Secretary; has he changed his mind?

I assure the right hon. Gentleman that in relation to what we are proposing to do, it has always been our intention to look across the various immigration routes. I specifically mentioned, earlier, that we will look at the student route in relation to immigration, and we will do that in due course.

In welcoming the Home Secretary’s long overdue implementation of these measures, may I ask about her plans to crack down on the trafficking of people, weapons and drugs? In Dover, on Friday morning, 17 people of Afghan origin were found in the back of a lorry, of whom many were children and all were in a pretty bad way.

The lorry driver was Polish. It was a refrigerated lorry and many of the people were taken to hospital. It is important to have X-ray scanning on the French side of the border, for lorry cabs to be checked on the French side and for the French to be encouraged to do more as the first country of arrival. What measures might the Home Secretary take in that regard?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this issue and for reminding us of this problem as well as the number of people involved and the way that some of those being persuaded to come here are treated. We should all take human trafficking extremely seriously in this House, as, indeed, the Conservatives do. On our interaction with the French authorities, I am pleased to say that the Minister for Immigration and I have already held meetings with the French Minister for Immigration and that we are talking to the French on a regular basis about the processes that need to be in place to ensure that we can control our borders.

Will the Home Secretary confirm that any limit will have no impact on those seeking political asylum? May I also ask her to look into the case of Charles Atangana, who lives in Glasgow? He is a journalist in a trade union and is due to be deported to Cameroon tomorrow. He has previously been imprisoned there because of his activities, including writing articles that are critical of the state. Will she confirm that she, as Home Secretary, will have a compassionate approach to those seeking political asylum?

As I am sure the hon. Lady will recognise, I am unable to comment on individual cases such as the one she raises, but I assure her that the limit we set out today applies to non-EU economic migrants, not to asylum seekers.

Does the right hon. Lady accept that success in research and high-tech businesses in areas such as Cambridge is fuelled by many non-EU migrants who are sensitive both to rules and to how welcome they are made to feel? What steps will she take to ensure that it continues to be possible, or even easy, for us to attract the best and the brightest to this country to help our universities, industry and economy?

I say to my hon. Friend that it is indeed our intention to ensure that we can continue to attract the brightest and the best. That is why we are taking steps to ensure that we do so within tier 1 migrant workers. We will consult with business and others on how we can best operate the limit to ensure that that continues.

I welcome the Home Secretary’s statement, but I heard it on the “Today” programme this morning. She was right to criticise the previous Government for such things, but frankly, she is repeating all the same errors.

The Prime Minister met Mr Harper of Canada, Mr Singh of India and Mr Uribe of Colombia, but the Prime Minister must now tell them that their skilled people are not welcome in this country. Does the Home Secretary accept that her policy is frankly protectionist? I do not know whether she understands the bureaucratic gobbledegook that she had to read out, but no business can. Some of us in the House are still liberal on this issue, and the fig leaves in the Liberal Democrats ought to be ashamed.

I must tell the right hon. Gentleman that the technical gobbledegook of which he speaks is the rules that have been applied and how we will change the rules. Businesses understand those rules very well. The idea that the statement somehow says to every other country in the world that their skilled workers will never be able to come into the UK is completely and utterly wrong, and he should frankly be ashamed of himself for standing up and suggesting that in the House. As I said, immigration has been good for the UK, but uncontrolled immigration is not. We are ensuring that we put an annual limit on immigration. I believe that that is what people are looking to this Government to do. They are looking for us to take action on the things that we promised prior to the election, but perhaps he finds it difficult to accept that we are actually delivering on our promise.

The new rules announced today will be warmly welcomed not least among the rather newer residents of the UK. How will the rules be applied to ensure that not only big firms but smaller, entrepreneurial firms, which are quite often run by people from immigrant families, can bring in the brightest and the best?

I suggest that my hon. Friend looks at the consultation document. We are asking businesses about a number of ways in which we can apply the limit, be that a first-come-first-served system or a pool system such as New Zealand’s, so that his points are taken into account. I am sure he will want to make his own representations on the matter.

I welcome the Home Secretary’s statement. I recognise that this is a difficult matter for any Government to deal with and that there are no easy answers, but will the cap be flexible in any way with regard to those fleeing religious persecution, especially Christians from Iran, Iraq and parts of Africa?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question, but as I said to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Katy Clark), who raised the issue of political asylum, the limit does not apply to asylum seekers. The statement is about economic migrants coming in from outside the EU.

I put my question on behalf of the 4.5 million people who lived on out-of-work benefits during the past decade, when four out of five of the new jobs created in the boom years went to foreign nationals. That was unforgivable and we cannot let it happen again. We were elected on a clear platform significantly to reduce immigration. Can my right hon. Friend assure the House that she will stand firm in the face of lobbying that seeks to defend unacceptably high levels of immigration again in the name of skills? The skills we do not have in this country, and indeed across the rest of the EU, cannot reasonably—[Hon. Members: “Speech!”] I will give way now.

I thank my hon. Friend for her points. She was making a valid point about the many unemployed people in the UK who have not had the skills to take advantage of the work opportunities that have become available. Our welfare reform proposals will provide extra support to help people get into work, and that is important. She is also right to say that people are looking to this Government to ensure that we control immigration into this country.

I welcome the Home Secretary’s exemption for ministers of religion from these provisions, but will she go further and set in place a protocol, such as the protocols that we have at present with universities and other certified institutes of higher education, so that those coming in from certified religious institutions can be fast-tracked and not have to go through the present process with the Home Office? Often, monks or sadhus who take a vow of poverty are asked to show what wealth they have before being allowed to come here.

The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point, which sounds like an early submission in the consultation process. He might like to put that forward in more detail.

I thank my right hon. Friend for her statement, which is an important first step in implementing the coalition’s proposals to get our immigration system under control. She talked about restoring public confidence in our immigration system. Does she agree that, in addition to the measures that she listed in her statement, doing a better job of removing those people who do not have a right to be in this country is a key element in that regard?

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend, and that is something on which we will also focus. The general public are right to expect that if someone is here without the right to be here, the Government take steps to ensure that they are removed.

May I welcome both the statement and the direction of travel? I also welcome the direction of travel from those on my own Front Bench. Indeed, had we been clearer about our direction of travel, we might not be sitting on these Benches today.

I am, however, disappointed on two counts. First, the Home Secretary said nothing that she did not say to Radio Scotland this morning. I was not aware that it was the practice to make announcements to Radio Scotland first thing in the morning before coming to the House—[Interruption.] I never did that. Secondly, why does the statement address only non-EU immigration? Why do the Government not seek to repatriate powers over EU immigration? Would the Government not consider saying to their European neighbours that there will be no new accession until powers over immigration have been repatriated?

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman needs to listen a little more carefully to BBC Radio Scotland in the mornings, because I did not speak on it this morning, although my hon. Friend the Minister for Immigration did. I am not aware that I sound like him—

Yes, perhaps when the hon. Member for Glasgow South West (Mr Davidson) has just got up. He suggests that what we are doing is a natural progression from the direction of his Front-Bench colleagues, but they were not proposing to have an annual limit. In fact, they have consistently derided the concept of an annual limit. It is this coalition Government who are taking the steps necessary.

I welcome the Home Secretary’s statement. In my short time as a Member of Parliament I have met people who are in this country as economic migrants and working for large, established employers who should be establishing training schemes, taking people on and equipping them with the relevant skills. Does she agree that those employers should put their efforts into setting up apprenticeships rather than recruiting low-skilled workers from abroad?

My hon. Friend makes a valid point about the need for employers to see what they can do to ensure that unemployed people in this country can take up job opportunities. The policies that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is bringing forward will ensure that we give the support necessary to help people get into the workplace.

In my constituency fishermen from the Philippines have been very welcome in the fish-catching sector, especially as they have kept jobs in the fish-processing sector. Will the Home Secretary listen to specific information such as that when deciding the basis for work entry?

The Home Secretary spoke powerfully about human trafficking and how the coalition Government were going to deal with the problem. Is she happy that the Human Trafficking Centre in Sheffield has closed and is now part of the overall police effort, with the £1.8 million budget seeming to have disappeared?

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that issue and congratulate him on, I believe, having taken over the chairmanship of the all-party group.

I am so sorry; I am a little in advance of myself. If that does happen tomorrow, I congratulate my hon. Friend. Our honourable friend the former Member for Totnes had an excellent record during his time in this place on dealing with the issue and ensuring that it was discussed on the Floor of the House. Regardless of the result tomorrow, I am sure that my hon. Friend will continue to do that, as he has in the past. Looking at how we deal with human trafficking is an important issue, and the response of the police is an issue that I am interested in looking at both as Home Secretary and, with my other hat on, as the Minister for Women and Equalities.

Whenever we talk about net migration, we always tend to talk about the numbers coming in, forgetting the large numbers of people going out. Given that under the previous Government net migration reached record levels, it would have been even higher had hundreds of thousands of British skilled workers not got fed up with Brown’s Britain and left to go and work abroad. Will my right hon. Friend work with her colleagues across Government to ensure that Britain’s skilled workers are incentivised to stay in Britain?

I thank my hon. Friend for that point. The good news for those many workers is that this is no longer Brown’s Britain.