We must protect status of EU citizens in Wales - Jeremy Miles
Ahead of a statement on the National Assembly, Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles has reaffirmed his commitment to those EU citizens who have chosen to make Wales their home.
We have always been clear that we recognise the invaluable contribution that EU citizens make to our economy and society here in Wales, and that any new immigration policy should be built around that. Our message as a Government to EU citizens in Wales is ‘we value your contribution to Welsh life and you will always be welcome here.’
In Brexit and Fair Movement of People, the Welsh Government proposed a flexible but managed approach to migration, where people from Europe would be able to move to the UK if they had a prior job offer, or had the ability to find a job quickly. It argued that this approach to migration should be complemented by a rigorous enforcement of legislation to prevent the exploitation of workers and the undermining of wages and conditions, whilst supporting our economy.
I would like to have been able to say that the UK government listened to those calls, and the proposals that we put forward in our paper Brexit and Fair Movement of People, taking on board the evidence that was presented not just from Wales but across the UK.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
When the UK government published a White Paper in December last year, outlining its plans for immigration after we leave the EU, there had been no prior engagement with the Welsh Government, despite previous assurances that this would happen.
The plans in the white paper ignore the weight of evidence presented to the Migration Advisory Committee about the negative impact on the economy of a more restrictive approach to migration.
As I made clear last week, our position is now to campaign for a referendum and to remain within the EU. But if we are to leave, it is essential we persuade the UK government that we need a flexible, managed approach to immigration that is fair but does not do unnecessary damage to our prosperity.
The proposal to give Wales, like Scotland, a separate ‘Shortage Occupations List’ is not the answer if, as at present, occupations on the list are still subject to the same salary threshold.
We must have a fair migration policy in place, one which protects EU citizens who have made Wales their home and which ensures that our future labour market needs are met. Any salary threshold should be well below £30,000. We need to ensure that Wales is still seen as an attractive place to live and work, and that we are still a welcoming nation.
My officials are involved in a 12 month engagement programme with the Home Office, Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, where different aspects of the Immigration White Paper are being discussed every month. I will continue to persist in more engagement with the Home Office, at a ministerial level, and an official level, and I will continue to make sure that the best interests of Wales and of our people are fully represented.
Latest News from
Rise in GP satisfaction levels according to latest National Survey results19/06/2019 14:05:00
People in Wales are more satisfied with the quality of GP care and education, but are increasingly concerned about climate change, according to the latest results from the National Survey published yesterday.
First Minister celebrates Wales’ progress towards becoming a Refill Nation19/06/2019 12:28:00
The number of water refill stations in Wales has increased 100-fold in the last year, making it easier for people to reuse bottles instead of buying a new plastic one every time, figures released today reveal.
Welsh Aerospace sector ‘in fantastic shape’ to lead on carbon reduction19/06/2019 11:05:00
The Aerospace industry in Wales is showing the innovation, expertise and ambition necessary to be at the forefront of delivering a low carbon future, Economy Minister Ken Skates said yesterday.
Lesley Griffiths welcomes agreement on beef exports to China18/06/2019 16:05:00
As Wales prepares to welcome China’s Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua to Wales, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has welcomed the lifting of export restrictions which could see British beef producers enter the Chinese market by the end of the year.
An extra £85m for capital investment to support the economy in Wales18/06/2019 14:05:00
Minister for Finance and Trefnydd Rebecca Evans has announced a capital investment package of £85 million as part of the First Supplementary Budget 2019-20.
First Minister welcomes China Vice-Premier to Wales18/06/2019 12:43:00
First Minister Mark Drakeford will today welcome China’s Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua to Wales.
New legislation introduced to provide further quality in Welsh health and social care18/06/2019 09:05:00
A new Bill which aims to improve quality and public engagement in health and social care were officially introduced to the National Assembly for Wales by Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething yesterday.
Chaotic no deal Brexit threatens the future of the UK warns Jeremy Miles17/06/2019 16:05:00
Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles will warn that a chaotic no deal Brexit threatens the future of the United Kingdom in a speech today.
Transport Minister looks to strengthening bus services17/06/2019 15:02:00
Transport Minister Ken Skates has agreed funding of £25m Bus Service Support Grant (BSSG) for 2019-20, citing reform as a driving force to improve transport networks across Wales.