PENDLE’S MP Andrew Stephenson has backed new Home Office rules which mean unskilled immigrants will no longer have an automatic right to settle in the UK.
Until now, someone who had lived in the UK for five years was virtually guaranteed to be allowed to settle here permanently.
Those who have settled here in the past have tended to be lower-earners than those who have not. Now in order to settle, workers must be paid at least £35,000.
Mr Stephenson said: “In 1997, fewer than 10,000 migrant workers and their dependants were granted the right to settle permanently in the UK, but after 13 years of Labour government, this rose to 84,000. “Conservatives are now getting a grip and ensuring that only the brightest and best are allowed to remain here permanently. At a time of high unemployment, we owe it to workers in Pendle to ensure that our migration system does not cause a reliance on migrant labour.”
Immigration Minister Damian Green MP said: “Settlement in the UK is a privilege. We are sweeping aside the idea that everyone who comes here to work can settle and instead reserving this important right only for the brightest and best.
“Our reforms of the immigration system will ensure we are more selective not only about those who are allowed to come here but also those who are allowed to stay permanently.”