Prime Minister gives major speech on immigration
13 November 2009
The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, has set out the case for the United Kingdom's tough but fair immigration system in a speech in west London.
In his first major speech on migration since February 2008, the Prime Minister focused on the importance of getting British workers rather than migrant workers to fill skills gaps where possible.
He also announced a review of student visas, to clamp down on people applying to study in the United Kingdom with the intention of working illegally when they get here.
During his speech the Prime Minister emphasised that migrants must accept the responsibilities that come with living in the United Kingdom - obeying the law, speaking English, and making a contribution. He also talked about new measures to build on the success of the points-based system.
These new measures include the tightening of immigration rules to cut numbers of migrant workers. The Prime Minister said this year 30,000 occupations had been removed from a list of in-demand skills which the United Kingdom needs. He said thousands more posts from the list of those eligible for entry under the points-based system would be removed in the coming months.
Delisting these occupations, on the advice of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), will make it much more difficult for workers from outside Europe to take up such posts in the United Kingdom under the points-based system.
Mr Brown said:
'Immigration is not an issue for fringe parties nor a taboo subject - it is a question at the heart of our politics, a question about what it means to be British; about the values we hold dear and the responsibilities we expect of those coming into our country; about how we secure the skills we need to compete in the global economy; about how we preserve and strengthen our communities.'