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Migration and Scotland

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean 4:41 pm, 11th February 2020

That is a very good question because it provides me with the opportunity to say one or two words about the Government’s proposals for their Australian-style points-based system, which allows for some of the flexibilities—the Minister alluded to them—that would deal with some of the concerns that Jessica might have.

Under those plans, which are to be published later this week, there would be skilled migrants who get points for a job offer at the appropriate skill level, which would clearly be appropriate for Jessica; a job offer with an approved sponsor company; and a salary of at least £25,600. The plans make it clear, on the score awarded for salary, that people on £23,000 will still be able to earn points, and those who earn less than £25,600 will score double points for working in a sector where there is a skills shortage. That is a more flexible approach than that taken at the moment. There would also be more points available for younger applicants and for those planning to work outside London, thus dealing with the point made by the hon. Member for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East about the attractiveness of the labour market in London. Given that this system has not yet come into force and has not yet been set out in detail, it would be sensible for us to at least give it an opportunity to see whether it deals with some of these complexities, and the experience of Jessica, before throwing it away.