My honourable friend the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration (Phil Woolas) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am pleased to announce the joint publication by the UK Border Agency and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of International Challenges, International Solutions: Managing the Movement of People and Goods. The document represents the close partnership that exists between our departments and our close co-operation on the international stage to secure our border and control migration for the benefit of our country.
Today’s publication updates on progress since our 2007 international strategy and sets out how the UK Border Agency and the FCO will strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ones to continue to deliver our objectives overseas. It also shows how the Government plan to do more to help developing countries to maximise the development benefits of migration and to mitigate the negative effects where they occur.
We have made impressive progress towards the goals we set out in 2007. Our overseas border controls have been strengthened through the increased use of risk and intelligence tools. The introduction of the points-based system has delivered a transparent system which allows us to adapt entry criteria based on economic or labour market conditions in the UK. We have also worked closely with international partners to improve co-operation on the return of migrants who are not entitled to be in the UK.
While our priority is to pursue the interests of the UK, the impacts of migration on other countries cannot be ignored. We are determined to keep improving our migration policies so that we do more to facilitate overseas development. We are considering policies that aim to contribute towards this goal.
Today’s publication sets out proposals to use our overseas networks to better manage migration and protect Britain’s borders. Copies will be made available in the Vote Office and the Library of the House.