Repeal of the main retained EU law relating to free movement etc

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 10:00 am, 26th February 2019

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the Home Office is seeking to move to digital by default in many of our processes. I recognise that this is the way forward. I spent a very happy six months at the Cabinet Office as the Minister for the Government Digital Service, recognising that the delivery of services digitally is the way forward. With the digital right-to-work checks and the roll-out of the digital right-to-rent checks, we already have a system that makes sure the individual employer or landlord can see only the evidence to which they are entitled, rather than having a biometric card that lays out all a person’s details. It can be tailored so the potential employer gets to see only the evidence of the right to work. I believe that the system works well and when I showed it to the landlords’ representative panel, they engaged with and were enthused by it. It has also worked well for employers. Digital status that is backed up and can be evidence going forward, simply and easily, is much better than a document that potentially contains the risk of fraud and that might need renewing every 10 years, in the same way we have to renew our passports.

This is the Bill that will end free movement. That is not the role of the withdrawal agreement Bill, which is where we will enshrine citizens’ rights.