UK immigration issues form key part of Queen’s Speech

30 May 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The Government introduced a new Immigration Bill in this week’s Queen’s Speech, which will make it harder for overseas people to obtain employment in the UK.

The new Conservative Government wants to further reduce migration to the UK and the number of people able to obtain a UK visa by reforming the immigration and labour market rules. The proposed legislation aims to reduce the demand among UK companies for skilled migrant workers from abroad.

Employment agencies will be banned from advertising vacancies in foreign countries without first advertising the same posts in the UK first.

A consultation will also be carried out on introducing a new ‘visa levy’ on companies that use workers from abroad. The idea would be to use the money raised from the levy to pay for apprenticeship schemes for British and EU workers.

In addition, the Bill proposes to set up a new enforcement agency which would be responsible for chasing up and punishing unscrupulous employers that bring people to the UK and exploit them.

The Immigration Bill is just one of the measures the new Government is introducing to attempt to reduce the number of people migrating to the UK. Central to the Queen’s Speech were plans for an in-out referendum on whether the UK should remain as part of the European Union.

British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK, plus UK citizens who have been living abroad for less than 15 years, will be permitted to vote in the referendum that is planned for 2017.

If the vote is in favour of exiting the EU, it is likely that the current free movement of EU citizens to the UK will be abolished and new visa demands introduced for people from Europe who want to live and work in Britain.