Consequential etc provision

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 3:30 pm, 26th February 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comment. I am sure, like me, he welcomes the fact that some of the most recent immigration statistics show more people coming to the UK with a confirmed job to go to, rather than simply looking for work. That is an important trend. I am sure he would also acknowledge that, as the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union pointed out—he was a Minister in the Department of Health and Social Care when he did so—there are more EU citizens working in the NHS today than there were at the time of the 2016 referendum. I would not want anyone to misunderstand me and think I was being remotely complacent, because I really am not, but I must emphasise again the Government’s recognition and appreciation of the great contribution made to the UK by EU nationals working in health, social care and our important medical research sector. I think it was on the day we published the White Paper that I went to the Crick Institute in London and spoke to some of the research teams there. They were not simply from the EU or the EEA, but were global research teams. That point was made to me by Cancer Research UK, which I visited at the tail end of last year. We will continue to engage with the sector.

The hon. Member for Scunthorpe made an important point about roundtable events and talking to all sectors, and I am absolutely determined to do that in the area of medical research. I assure him that I have a busy programme over the next six months.