I support the Bill, which I believe will make our immigration system better, and fairer. Some hon. Members—today, and before today—have bemoaned the fact that the new points-based system will end freedom of movement. I heard Brendan O'Hara say so earlier this afternoon. In fact, there was no such thing as freedom of movement; the concept was an illusion, a chimera, apart from for those who were fortunate enough to live on the continent of Europe.
I benefited from the system—my wife is from Sweden, and for a while I lived and worked in Belgium—but it is a bad system, an outdated model, a discriminatory model, a system that works for Europeans but against the rest of the world. It is unfair. It discriminates against people who want to come here—people whom we want to welcome, people who help us build, run and support our country, who add value to our communities, contribute to our national debate and bring talent, expertise and drive, but who struggle to get entry purely because they are not from Europe. I am glad that we seek to replace that system today.
To those who are already here from Europe in this country, that have made it your home, that have raised families, invested, worked, lived and contributed to our society , we must repeat and repeat that they will always be welcome here.