Voices behind viral tweet reject Priti Patel’s post-Brexit immigration system

PUBLISHED: 09:25 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:34 20 February 2020

Home secretary Priti Patel. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Home secretary Priti Patel. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Celebrities have turned to Twitter to oppose Priti Patel’s new immigration system - pointing out their own relatives ‘wouldn’t have made the cut’.

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Famous faces including Jay Rayner and Caitlin Moran have responded to a viral tweet from author Sathnam Sanghera - who suggested that the families of many British citizens would not currently be living and working in the UK, if older generations had been subject to the same rules.

He invited others to share their own experiences while calling out former chancellor Sajid Javid.

The new system, which is due to come into force on January 1 2021, will prioritise people based on their skills, not where they came from.

Sanghera wrote: "RT if you and your family wouldn't be here, building businesses, charities and the NHS, contributing to British politics, art and sport, if the UK had had this suggested #pointsbasedsystem in the 20th century," he said.

"Maybe @sajidjavid can start."

Among those who responded to the tweet were Baroness Sayeeda Warsi who said: "Grandad arrived as a millworker in the 50's.

"Wouldn't have been allowed under the new system - kids, grandkids and great grandkids have built dozens of multi million £ businesses.

"Drs, lawyers, accountants, pharmacists, teachers, in armed forces and one even became a cabinet minister."

Food critic Jay Rayner added that both sets of his great grandparents also "wouldn't have made the cut" if the process had been points-based.

The government policy statement said that all applicants who want to live and work in the UK would need to gain 70 points to be eligible to apply for a visa.

Points will be awarded for key requirements including; a job offer from an "approved sponsor", an income of £25,600 or over, and the ability to speak English to a "certain level".

Writer Caitlin Moran said: "My family would never have come over from Ireland in the wake of the famine, and neither would my husband's parents, from Cyprus.

"We all built businesses, paid taxes, employed people, never smashed up a restaurant whilst at uni, etc."

Even Priti Patel herself appeared to concede that her relatives could have been stopped coming from the UK - but suggested the new system was the right one for the modern era.

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