Ministers were today accused of “rank hypocrisy” as new immigration legislation that would prevent foreign care workers from coming to the UK returned to Parliament.
The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination Bill will introduce a “points-based” migration system once Britain completes its exit from the EU’s freedom of movement rules.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said today that prioritising entry for those with the highest skills would “attract the people we need to drive our economy forward and lay the foundation for a high wage, high skill, high productivity economy”.
Her Labour counterpart, Nick Thomas-Symonds, hit out over the inclusion of care workers and others in a “low-skilled” category that will stop migrants wanting to do such jobs coming to the UK.
He said: “It is rank hypocrisy towards our NHS and care workers to stand and clap for them on a Thursday night and then tell them that they are not welcome in the UK on a Monday.”
Under the proposed new system, points allowing potential migration would be awarded on the basis of salary level, the ability to speak English and having a job offer.
A separate fast-track visa would be offered for doctors, nurses and other health professionals.