Immigration and Social Security Co-Ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:55 pm on 28th January 2019.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for the Home Department 4:55 pm, 28th January 2019

I will make some progress and give way later.

Secondly, this Bill will protect the rights of Irish citizens. We are very proud of our deep and historic ties with Ireland. When free movement ends, Irish citizens will continue to be able to come to the UK to live and work as they do now. British and Irish citizens have enjoyed a special status and specific rights in each other’s countries for almost 100 years. The Bill will preserve rights that Irish citizens currently have in the UK—the same rights that British citizens enjoy in Ireland. This includes the right to work, to study, to access healthcare and social security benefits, and to vote. The only exception is where an Irish citizen is subject to deportation exclusion orders, as now, or to an international travel ban. Our close ties with Ireland will remain. Our historic bond is unbreakable. The Government have always been firm in their commitment to preserve the long-standing common travel area arrangements. This Bill reaffirms our intention to preserve our special relationship and to continue to stand side by side with Ireland after we leave the EU.

Thirdly, the Bill gives us the basis to build a legal framework for the future immigration system. It includes a power to make amendments to primary and secondary legislation that become necessary after the end of free movement. This will enable us to ensure that UK legislation remains coherent once we leave the EU. It means that we can align our treatment of EU and non-EU migrants depending on the final design of the UK’s future skills-based immigration system, and that we can accommodate any trade deals that we agree with the EU and with other countries.