All 1 Lord Green of Deddington contributions to the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020

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Wed 30th Dec 2020
European Union (Future Relationship) Bill
Lords Chamber

3rd reading & 2nd reading (Hansard) & Committee negatived (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 2nd reading (Hansard) & 2nd reading (Hansard): House of Lords & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee negatived (Hansard) & Committee negatived (Hansard): House of Lords & 2nd reading & Committee negatived

European Union (Future Relationship) Bill Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office

European Union (Future Relationship) Bill

Lord Green of Deddington Excerpts
3rd reading & 2nd reading & Committee negatived & 2nd reading (Hansard) & 2nd reading (Hansard): House of Lords & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee negatived (Hansard) & Committee negatived (Hansard): House of Lords
Wednesday 30th December 2020

(3 years, 6 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020 Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: Committee of the whole House Amendments as at 30 December 2020 - (30 Dec 2020)
Lord Green of Deddington Portrait Lord Green of Deddington (CB) [V]
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My Lords, I congratulate the Government on this agreement; it is roughly as good as we could have hoped for in the circumstances. I join other noble Lords in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Frost, and his team of civil servants, diplomats and lawyers on their huge and successful efforts. As some noble Lords will know, I was appointed as a Cross-Bencher for my work on immigration, so I will concentrate on those aspects today.

The Government claim to have taken “control of our … borders”. It is true that they have secured control of our laws on immigration but, sadly, they have done nothing to control the numbers—quite the reverse. Their new points-based system will open 7 million UK jobs to new or increased international competition—they do not even dispute that. At the same time, they have substantially reduced salary and skills requirements so that literally several hundred million workers from around the world would qualify for a work permit. The effect of this is that the Government have closed the door on low-skilled workers from the EU but have opened wide a barn door for an unlimited number of medium-skilled workers from all over the world. This is a total surrender to business interests; it is not what the public had in mind when they voted for Brexit, and it is not what they want now. A poll by YouGov in July found that 54% think that immigration has been too high over the past decade; only 5% thought that it had been too low.

So finally, what can now be done? The consequences of these new arrangements may of course be delayed by the collapse of international travel due to the Covid crisis. However, it is extremely difficult to rein in a wave of immigration once it has developed. The Government would therefore be well advised to place a cap on work permits before the numbers start running out of control. I shall leave it there and I will of course vote for the Bill.