Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:31 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Martin Hoare:

The 12-month visa was in place in the form of the so-called sectors-based scheme. That was introduced in May 2003 by a House of Commons paper with no parliamentary discussion. It allowed people in less skilled fields to live in the United Kingdom for 12 months. It was abandoned following an investigation by Parliament. According to the Hansard report in 2008, quite significant malfunction and abuse was detected.

The tribunal responsible for immigration also found that there was a considerable amount of hostility towards the rule itself, manifested by those implementing the rule at the visa point. That rule was scrapped altogether by 2008. Tony McNulty, the then Minister of State, observed when scrapping it that the slack, as it were, could be taken up by immigration from what were then the EU accession states. The rule then was not effective. The significant difference between now and then is that there will be no pool of EU workers to take up the slack. What I have just referred to is in parliamentary documentation. It is not my opinion.