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Migration and Scotland

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:54 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Simon Hoare Simon Hoare Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee 5:54 pm, 11th February 2020

It is a pleasure to follow Alison Thewliss. Although I did not agree with everything that she said—she will not be surprised by that—whenever she speaks in this place, the sincerity and affection that she has for her constituents and the work that she does on their behalf shines through every word that she says.

While I am feeling in a magnanimous mood, may I also congratulate—for what it is worth, coming from me—Bell Ribeiro-Addy, who is new to the Front Bench and gave a compelling speech that was professionally delivered? Of course, it paled in comparison with the maiden speech of my hon. Friend Miriam Cates, which the House was very interested to hear—although she is not that interested to hear what I have to say about her speech; she has left her place. There we are. That is the benefit of making a maiden speech.

A number of Members on the Opposition Benches have referenced the Migration Advisory Committee. I have to say that, if I had my way, I would abolish it—in the same way that I would either abolish or ignore the organisation Migration Watch. Neither of them are anywhere on pace when it comes to the needs that our country, as a united country, faces when it comes to migration. In a post-EU membership age, it is perfectly proper that our immigration policies, to meet all quarters of the United Kingdom, are forged in this place by Ministers, scrutinised by this House and approved, and then they can change. There should be receptiveness and fluidity within whatever system we alight on to meet the needs of our country.