Home Immigration News Diane Abbott to announce Labour plans to overhaul visa policy

Diane Abbott to announce Labour plans to overhaul visa policy

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Author: Jamie Grierson

The shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, is set to announce Labour’s vision for a fairer post-Brexit immigration system including a simplified visa regime for foreign workers.

In a speech at Portcullis House in Westminster on Thursday, Abbott will unveil proposals to overhaul the work visa policy in the UK, which is currently structured with a range of tiers reflecting different employment categories.

Theproposed regime under a Labour government would offer rights of work, residency and accelerated citizenship to a range of professions, workers and those creating employment who want to come here based on the needs of the economy.

“We have economic needs that dictate we need migrants, to help tackle skills and labour shortages,” Abbott will say.

“I am announcing that Labour in government will establish a completely reformed work visa policy. This policy will sit alongside the existing visas for business trips, students, visitors and tourists.

“We will avoid the idiocy of preventing doctors and nurses from coming here to take up job offers. Under our new work visa system, anyone with specified bona fide skills can come here to work.

“The new, integrated work visa allows us to offer rights of work and residency and accelerated citizenship to a range of professions, workers and those creating employment who want to come here. It will be available to all those we need to come here, whether it is doctors, or scientists, or care workers.

“This will apply across a range of jobs, skills and professions. People coming to take up specific job offers, where it can be shown that those jobs cannot be filled by workers already resident here, will be able to come here.”

Abbott’s speech comes ahead of a key report from the migration advisory committee, to be published on Tuesday, on the impact of EU migration on the British labour market. It is expected to inform the government’s post-Brexit immigration policy, with ministers delaying the publication of an immigration white paper until its publication.

The shadow home secretary will repeat her criticism of the government’s role in the Windrush scandal, in which British residents were wrongly targeted by the Tories’ ‘hostile environment’ policy and in some cases were detained and deported. She will also reiterate Labour plans to rip up the 2014 Immigration Act, in which many of the hostile-environment policies are enshrined in law.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/13/diane-abbott-to-announce-labour-plans-to-overhaul-visa-policy

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