Coronavirus: UK visa policy may be wrong says pro-Brexit MP


Heathrow Airport, London almost empty due to coronavirus

Sanwar Ali,

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Sanwar Ali comment:

Already, even before the new UK visa points system has been implemented there are problems!  As numerous people have commented, you need to allow “low skilled” workers into the UK.  The coronavirus has demonstrated the significant need for such people. 

It also seems increasingly likely, whatever Boris Johnson may be saying now, that the Brexit transitional period will be extended.  The Brexit negotiators on both sides have either been struck down with the coronavirus or showing symptoms.  Civil Servants are too busy dealing with coronavirus to have time to negotiate a Brexit deal.

As thousands of non-UK nationals work flat out to keep the UK running, Tory pro-Brexit MP Steve Double, has said that the government’s new UK immigration policy might be wrong. Double, who backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, has urged Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to rethink the recently announced points-based immigration system.

The MP for St Austell and Newquay made the comments during a speech in the House of Lords, calling on Patel to review the new UK visa system, set to launch on 1 January 2021, in light of the country’s reliance on so-called low-skilled immigrants amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Double said: “One of the things that the current coronavirus crisis is teaching us is that many people that we consider to be low-skilled are actually pretty crucial to the smooth running of our country and are in fact recognised key workers.”

New UK immigration system aims to block low-skilled migrants

The new UK immigration system, announced earlier this year, aims to block low-skilled migration to the UK in favour of targeting ‘the brightest and best’ from around the world to study and work in the UK.

However, Double has urged the Home Secretary to analyse everything that so-called low-skilled immigrants are contributing to the UK amid what’s been described as a national emergency by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Double said: “Would the Home Secretary consider that once we’re through this situation, reviewing our points-based immigration system to reflect the things we’ve learned during this time?”

Patel to review new UK points-based immigration system

It would appear that Double’s comments have struck a chord with the Home Secretary, who has since said: “Mr Double has made a very, very important point. The new system is under review, but at no time has this government said that people at a lower skill level are unimportant.”

Patel acknowledged that across the UK, everyone is making a tremendous contribution when it comes to keeping essential services functioning, and praised workers across the NHS, supermarkets and pharmacies in particular. She stressed that care and compassion will be shown to non-UK workers who have contributed so much during the crisis.

The Home Secretary reiterated that all aspects of the new, points-based UK visa and immigration system will be kept under review, but stopped short of saying that wholesale changes would be made.

She said: “The important thing with the points-based system is that we will ensure that points are tradable based on the skills and the labour market need that is required across particular sectors.”

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