Priti Patel says it is ‘right’ that UK only accepts people who speak English
- Credit: PA
Priti Patel has said those seeking to come to the country if they can speak English, as she outlined plans for a post-Brexit immigration system.
The home secretary claimed the new system would ensure that immigration policy is back under the control of the government for the "first time in decades".
"On January 1 2021, we'll be ending the free movement of labour from the EU, but excitingly this will be our new system - an immigration system that enables the government to take back control of our own immigration policy for the first time in decades," she told the PA news agency while visiting Imperial College. "And it will mean that we will have a global immigration system that doesn't discriminate between EU and non-EU, and it'll basically mean that the brightest and the best will be able to come to the United Kingdom to bring their real talents which we'll recognise through a points-based system."
Asked whether individuals who have an offer from an academic institution, but cannot speak English, would still be able to come to the UK, Patel said: "We're being very clear about this - this is a system that puts the British government in control of its immigration policy for the first time in decades.
"I'm here at Imperial College and I've been looking at the route for global talent - people that obviously will need to speak English, have an offer from an institution, global talent routes, scientists, mathematicians, academics, the people that absolutely should be coming to our amazing institutions, such as Imperial College and other first-class universities across the country, to very much work and learn at universities, but obviously to work in partnership - this university (Imperial College) works with businesses as well to develop skills, the future skills that our economy and our country needs.
You may also want to watch:
"And, yes, it is right that people should speak English before they come to our country, that they should have a sponsored route, whether it's through employment or a sponsored route through an academic institution."
Asked what assurances could be given to those already living in the UK who do not meet the thresholds outlined, Patel said: "Well, I think first and foremost we have a number of routes and importantly we have the EU Settlement Scheme.
- 1 Nigel Farage loses nearly 50,000 followers after Twitter suspends QAnon accounts
- 2 Tory minister admits UK rejected EU's music visa offer in order to 'take back control' of borders
- 3 Former Brexit Party MEP dies in diving accident in the Bahamas
- 4 Bob Geldof takes swipe at No 10 saying 'lying is second nature' to them
- 5 Progressive alliance could see Labour win 351 seats at next election, new analysis reveals
- 6 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 7 Boris Johnson blames seafood companies for post-Brexit sales slump
- 8 Jacob Rees-Mogg says it's 'all the EU's fault' musicians can't tour Europe
- 9 Priti Patel fails to appear in Commons to answer questions on missing police records
- 10 The bigot we should have called out on day one
"It's important to recognise this is the biggest scheme of this nature that the British government has operated and we've obviously had a huge number of registrations - over 3.2 million applications - giving EU citizens their settled status in the United Kingdom, them and their families, so that they continue to live and to work and to contribute to our country, which is a great thing and it shows that we are open, we're positive, we're open for business, but I think importantly we are open to the world and that is effectively what our points-based system will achieve for our country."
The home secretary also said discussions had been held with the devolved administrations to make it a system that applies to all of the UK.
"Of course this is a system for the whole of the United Kingdom," she said.
"There's been discussions taking place across the whole of government for a number of months and, in fact, even prior to the general election there'd been discussions taking place across all government departments and the devolved administrations."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.