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

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 28th January 2019.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Opposition Whip (Commons) 7:30 pm, 28th January 2019

It is a pleasure to follow Anna Soubry, who said so much that I agree with.

The Secretary of State said earlier that immigration was the issue of the referendum and that we must have a fair system. I agree that we must have a fair system, although I dispute the premise of the first part of his statement. I believe that our immigration system should be based on rules that are grounded in human rights; that value the contribution of migrants and allow them all to work, including asylum seekers; that do not put desperate people in desperate conditions; that are operated by well-trained, skilled and adequately resourced staff; that give a warm welcome to those fleeing war and persecution; and that show those who have already made their homes here that they are still properly and warmly welcome. We need a system that values our European neighbours—not with platitudes, but with a real practical understanding of the nature of their lives.