We are ending free movement and will introduce a new, firmer, fairer, skills-led global immigration system, with further details of it published today. Last month our Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill passed through the House unamended, despite the best efforts of the Labour party and those on the separatist Benches.
On behalf of the people of Ashfield, I fully support the Government in introducing a points-based immigration system. For far too long, freedom of movement has encouraged the exploitation of migrant labour, which has driven down wages, increased pressure on public services, and had a significant impact on housing in places like Ashfield. Could my hon. Friend please assure me that, moving forward, this Government will implement a firm but fair points-based system attracting high-skilled workers while also prioritising British jobs for British people?
I agree with my hon. Friend. The points-based system will support our wider economic strategy by encouraging investment in a domestic UK workforce while ensuring that businesses can still attract the brightest and the best from around the world to Ashfield. We want employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic workforce, driving productivity and improving opportunities for resident workers, with immigration policy being part of, not an alternative to, our strategy for the UK labour market.
The introduction of the points-based immigration system is a pledge that we gave to the British people and one that we are now delivering on. Does my hon. Friend agree that now is also the time for employers to create the working conditions for our home-grown population to be attracted to the work that those employers should be offering?
I absolutely agree. Under our new points-based immigration system, the UK, especially the Black Country, will continue to be open to the best talent from around the world. But my hon. Friend is right: employers should always be looking to recruit from the domestic workforce first and ensure that they offer terms and conditions, and career development opportunities, that make this possible, especially as we look to support those who have suffered the economic effects of covid-19 back into to work.