Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:17 pm on 9th June 2020.

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Adrian Berry:

The Home Office position and the UK Government position is to draw on precedent-based treaties that the EU has with Canada, Japan and South Korea, and those treaties have mobility routes that reflect General Agreement on Trade in Services mode 4 commitments for persons who are coming here as short-term business visitors, key personnel, key senior staff and specialists, and also routes in free trade agreements for independent professionals, contractual suppliers and so on. All of those routes would be for 12 to 24 months; none of them would lead to settlement or permanent residence for short-term business visitors.

The UK’s ambition is that it will attract highly skilled people in that way, but only on a temporary basis, and if you are creating an economic migration regime in the Home Office paper, as was trailed in January, and you make no mention of that, it is some omission in the overall scheme, because you need to understand how it works.

The second thing that you really need to clearly understand is that the UK is like a little moon next to the planet Earth of the EU on this. There is a 450-million person territory next door to us that is setting its own economic migration rules and it is competing with us, and if you do not bear in mind what will happen in terms of economic migration in the EU—that you can come in for service provision or for work and have a route to settlement—and you are still creating this inbound regime into the UK, then you are not thinking about the impact of living next door to a much larger jurisdiction, and it is critical in the national interest that you do so.