Skip to main content

Immigration: Migration Advisory Committee

Volume 687: debated on Wednesday 29 November 2006

My honourable friend the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality (Mr Liam Byrne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The House will wish to know that I am publishing today a consultation document on the establishment of a Migration Advisory Committee. Copies of this consultation document have been placed in the House Library.

This Government are committed to attracting people with the skills Britain needs from around the world. That is why we have announced a new points-based system for managed migration, which we will introduce from next year. In implementing this system, I believe that we could benefit greatly from independent advice. I propose that a Migration Advisory Committee, comprising independent experts and key stakeholders, should provide that advice.

I set out the proposed remit of the Migration Advisory Committee in the consultation document. The key decisions on which it would advise relate to whether there are particular labour shortages in the economy which could best be filled by migration, and what the points criteria should be for highly skilled and skilled workers in the new points-based system. We would ask the Migration Advisory Committee to assess, in formulating its advice, the net benefit to the UK as a whole of particular categories of migrants, taking into account economic, fiscal and wider impacts of migration.

The consultation period ends on 31 January. We will then report on the results of the consultation and our proposed course of action.