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

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:29 pm on 28th January 2019.

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Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary 5:29 pm, 28th January 2019

This is an important debate, not least because issues around migration lay at the heart of much of the debate on Brexit. I would make the following point to Ministers. To the extent that they continue to confuse migration in general with the specific issue of freedom of movement, they are not helping the clarity of the debate.

During the recent debate on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, the Home Secretary said that he was

“determined to continue to have an immigration system that welcomes the very best talent from across the world, helping us to build an open, welcoming and outward looking post-Brexit Britain.”—[Official Report, 11 January 2019;
Vol. 652, c. 700.]

If only that were the case. The truth is that the Bill, the immigration White Paper and the accompanying media narrative play to some of the very worst aspects of the Brexit debate. In the process, the Bill risks doing irreparable damage to business, the economy and society.