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

As I mentioned following the question from Drew Hendry, it is important that we have an immigration system that represents the needs of every part of the UK, of course including Northern Ireland. In developing the White Paper, we have already talked to people from Northern Ireland—businesses, elected representatives and others—and we will continue to do so as we finalise the policy set out in the White Paper. Over the coming year, we will have a year-long engagement that will include every nation, every region and every community in the UK.

We are planning on the basis that, deal or no deal, from 2021 the future immigration system will be in place. It is right that we deliver on our promise to the people of the UK and that we legislate to end free movement, but if the future system is to be truly fit for purpose we must also learn the lessons from Windrush. We must put people first and make it easier for them to navigate the system. This work is under way, and we have already commissioned the Law Commission to review the existing immigration rules. I welcome its work to find ways to make them more accessible, and I look forward to receiving its recommendations later this year. They will help to inform the next stage of our future system, developing new immigration rules to set out that approach.

The proposals outlined in the White Paper have already prompted some debate. I have said that they are the starting point for a national conversation on what the future system should be. We will be discussing the detail with businesses, organisations and community representatives across the UK during this year, and I look forward to those conversations progressing. We are listening and we are taking our time to ensure that we get it right, but there can be only one end result. We must deliver what the British people asked for: exiting the EU and seizing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine our immigration system. This Bill is a key part of that process. It ends freedom of movement and it gives us full control, building a fair and sustainable system that people can count on. It is a system fit for the welcoming and diverse nation we all love, and a system designed in the UK for the UK. I commend the Bill to the House.