Given the worldwide pandemic and essential Black Lives Matter protests, we’d almost forgotten about Brexit – but you know who hasn’t? The Conservative Party.
After we left the EU in January, the Conservatives are now putting into place new immigration policy in the form of their Immigration Bill “to bring in a firm and fair points-based system that will attract the high-skilled workers we need to contribute to our economy, our communities and our public services”.
And now they’re holding open consultation on said bill in the form of an online survey. However, this survey appears to have been pushed out under the radar, only being shared with Conservative members (who’ll most likely support it, thus skewing the overall date to make it look like the Immigration bill has overwhelmingly positive support).
The Conservatives are running a survey to secure data supporting their immigration bill. They have only shared it amongst a VERY small group of people who will support the bill so please have a look and take a moment to fill it out to help shape the result https://t.co/Afxv1Tro5V
— edith bowman (@edibow) June 8, 2020
Just a reminder that the bill will repeal EU freedom of movement, and means migration will operate under a strict new points based system. To qualify for this new system, you’ll have to have a job offer (from an “approved sponsor”) of an “appropriate skill level” and speak English. The job will be expected to have a salary of £25,600, but if it’s over £20,480 you can make up your points in other ways like…having a PhD. Accessible, right?
While Home Secretary Priti Patel has said that the “new points-based system is firmer, fairer, and simpler,” there’s a strong argument to the contrary. It only allows those with a considerable amount of economic and educational privilege to qualify and it sends a message that there’s a ‘right’ type of immigrant, as well as raising the issue of what the Tories deem as an “appropriate skill level”.
As Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds has put it: “In the midst of this crisis the Government is putting forward an immigration system containing a salary threshold of £25,600 – it sends a signal and tells people that anyone earning less than that is unskilled and unwelcome in our country,” adding, “Are our shop workers unskilled? Our refuse collectors? Our local government workers? Our NHS staff? Our care workers? Of course they are not.”
Now the Conservatives are asking for public opinion on their bill – and by public opinion, we mean asking a pool of people already affiliated with the party. It’s unclear what the party is currently planning on using the results for, but if they’re only promoting it to people who’ll agree with the bill, there’s a risk of it skewing results it to say there’s public support of the controversial bill.
Please take the time to fill in the conservatives unbelievably cynical immigration survey. if you are pro immigration, answer: 'no, yes, no, no' https://t.co/GKrShlClOU
— Alex Rice (@publicrice) June 8, 2020
But we can help broaden the results. If you go to the Conservatives website you can fill in the survey, saying you don’t support the bill and don’t support a points-based immigration system. Here are the yes/no questions:
1) Do you support strengthening our immigration system?
2) Do you support us extending visas for current frontline NHS workers?
3) Do you support a skills-led points-based immigration system?
4) Do you support our Immigration Bill?