The Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne, pledged a ‘new balance in migration policy’ during a speech to public servants in Essex this week.
Addressing an audience of key local representatives in education, business and local Government, the Minister set out a 12-month programme of sweeping changes to Britain’s immigration systems and strategy.
Mr Byrne said:
“In 12 months time our immigration system will have changed out of all recognition. From next year, a points-based system, modelled on the success of Australia, will ensure that only people Britain needs can come here to work and study.
“Three quarters of the World’s population will need fingerprint visas: a system which gives us tougher checks abroad. A single border force with new powers will deliver tougher policing at our ports and airports and we’ll start to count people in and out of the country. ID cards for foreign nationals will start to make sure that migrants can prove who they are, and help us safeguard access to work and benefits.
“We will attack the root cause of illegal journeys, which is illegal jobs, with big new fast-track fines for employers turning a blind eye or breaking the rules. Those who sponsor migrants to come to Britain will need a licence to do so.
“Driving these changes forward will be the new Border and Immigration Agency, operating with freedom from central Government with a new powerful regulator and with much stronger links to the communities it serves.”
The Home Office has published a comprehensive cross-Government report on the fiscal and economic impact of migration. The report has been submitted to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs and will be discussed by the Migration Impacts Forum (MIF), which will for the first time present frontline views on the wider impacts of migration.
The Home Office will draw together both sets of evidence to inform a cabinet decision on how long to continue restrictions on Bulgaria and Romania and in due course a points based system.
Mr Byrne continued:
“Today we begin to strike a new balance in Britain’s migration policy, weighing the economic benefits with frontline feedback about wider impacts.
“We know migration added about £6 billion to our economy last year, but we know of wider impacts too. What we need to do is strike the right balance for Britain’s national interest, starting with the decision on Bulgarian and Romanian workers a little later this year.”
If you have been refused a visa or would like immigration advice and a free consultation please email me at:
I will be speaking at the NEC Care Show 24th October see: