Clause 19

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 15th March 2007.

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Photo of James Clappison James Clappison Conservative, Hertsmere 9:45 am, 15th March 2007

I put it in a way that is highly relevant to this clause. I would like an answer to the point that I put to the Under-Secretary. How wide is the list of occupations under tier 2 for skilled workers? How big a list is that going to be?

I was told by an immigration officer that immigration was all about economics. I think there was a lot in that observation, because there is literally unlimited demand for people to come and work in this country and to enjoy the higher incomes that are available in this country as compared with the lower incomes available in their countries. They are hard-working people and they have laudable motivation but it has to be taken into account whether or not levels of economic migration are sustainable. The level of economic migration into this country today is historically at a higher level than ever, putting it mildly, and that is without any disrespect to the economic migrants themselves, who are extremely hard-working people with laudable motivation. However, other issues arise which, we dealt with earlier. They need to be addressed and all these proposals need to be seen in that context.

We need to have up-front honesty from the Government about this, and answers to the very relevant questions that my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford posed to them. This amendment would provide a means of achieving those answers.