I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
Concern over uncontrolled immigration was at the heart of the debate in the run-up to the European Union referendum. The result left no doubt: people in the UK want control over our borders. They want a fair system that works for the entire UK, that attracts the brightest and the best from around the globe, and that allows access to the UK based on what someone has to offer, not where they come from. Leaving the EU means just that. For the first time in more than 40 years, we can deliver this by putting control over who comes to the UK firmly in our hands. Ending free movement is the first step, and that is what the Bill delivers.
This is not about closing our doors—far from it. That is something I would never allow. We will continue to be an open, outward-looking and welcoming nation, because immigration has been invaluable to Britain. Immigrants to this country, such as my own parents, have been essential to the success of our society, culture and economy. They have powered—indeed, they have often created—many of our businesses. They have helped to deliver vital public services. Their experience has brought new perspectives and expertise, stimulating growth and making us the tolerant, outward-looking nation we are today. Far from slamming the door on immigration, the end of free movement will be a clear path to a fairer immigration system, helping us to welcome the most talented workers from any country while cutting net migration to sustainable levels.