Wednesday 19 February 2020 / 12:01 AM Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott responds to the government’s new immigration policy

Diane Abbott, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the government’s new immigration policy, said:

“This isn’t an ‘Australian points-based system’, which is a meaningless government soundbite.  It’s a salary threshold system, which will need to have so many exemptions, for the NHS, for social care and many parts of the private sector, that it will be meaningless.

“Just as important is what rights will be attached to these visas.  If families are split up because spouses and children are denied entry, this will be terrible for them and will deter many of the workers we need.  If they are all short-term visas only the most desperate workers will come, and will have the effect of creating a two-tier workforce.

“Ultimately, it will also be very difficult to attract the workers we need at all skill levels while the Tories’ hostile environment is in place.  It needs to go.  Labour will be pressing hard on all these points as the legislation proceeds.”