Iain Duncan Smith calls on Government to reassure those concerned about Britain’s future ability to attract talented people to the UK

2nd February 2017

Iain Duncan Smith calls on the Government to reassure those in academic and high added value sectors that immigration controls will focus on low value, high volume areas of migration.

I commend my right hon. Friend for the White Paper. The complaints about it not being detailed enough and arriving only at the last moment are of course nonsense. The Prime Minister set out most of its elements in her 12-point speech, and those who missed that should go back and read it again. They will see that its points are all reflected in this document. I want to ask my right hon. Friend about migration. The key concern in academia and in the high added value, low volume areas is that they should get a much earlier statement about how flexible any future permit system will be. Will he take that a little further and say that those areas will see next to no change, and that it is the low value, high volume areas that we need to control?

My right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith) is another Member of this House who has given a great deal of time and dedication to this issue. On migration, it is my job to bring the decision back to the House, but it is not my job to make the decisions thereafter. However, it is clear to me that the policies for controlling migration after our exit will be designed to further our national interest. Britain is a science superpower. We are the leading scientific centre in Europe and as a result, we will want to encourage the competition for talent to come here. The same will apply in finance, engineering, medicine and all the other areas in which skills are at a premium. We will want to attract those people, so we do not expect our policies to have any deleterious effects on industry at all.

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