‘Take back control’ immigration plans published
The home secretary Sajid Javid is expected to publish the government’s post-Brexit white paper on Britain’s new immigration rules on Wednesday, which will attempt to strengthen the case for Theresa May’s Brexit deal, outlining the ways in which Britain will seek to ‘take back control’ of its borders.
As final drafts of the Brexit white paper were still making its way through Whitehall on Tuesday, sources said one of the documents key objectives was to establish non-preferential treatment for EU migrants.
Perhaps the biggest change to migration is the new rule requiring anyone from the EU’s 27 countries to be earning at least £30,000 annually before being allowed in to the UK on five-year visas.
Javid said: “We are delivering on the clear instruction to get control over our borders and will bring in a new system that works in the interest of the British people.
“It will be a single, skills-based immigration system built around the talent and expertise people can bring, rather than where they come from – maximising the benefits of immigration and demonstrating the UK is open for business.”
No-deal plans put 3,500 troops on standby
The government’s contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit, which Theresa May’s cabinet have agreed to roll-out across departments include putting 3,500 on standby, to deal with any disruption should Britain crash out of the EU without a deal.
Downing Street confirmed on Tuesday that May’s cabinet would be ‘ramping up’ no-deal preparations, and sending further advice to businesses, whilst also suggesting that businesses should implement their own preparations for no-deal.
Speaking to the Commons on Wednesday, defence secretary Gavin Williamson said that the government “will have 3,500 service personnel held at readiness, including regulars and reserves, in order to support any government department on any contingencies they may need”.
The Treasury is allocating an extra £2bn to 25 Whitehall departments for the next financial year to get ready for Brexit – including a no-deal scenario. Other measures include hiring 3,000 new staff for HM Revenue and hundreds of border officers.
MPs call for Universal Credit rollout to be delayed
A cross-party group of MPs has called on the government to halt the latest rollout of the government’s Universal Credit benefits system, until it can show that disabled claimants will not be adversely affected by the latest phase of the reform.
The House of Commons work and pensions committee, which examines the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Work and Pensions, has claimed that there are insufficient safeguards for claimants who will be worse off financially when approximately a million disabled people move on to Universal Credit over three years from 2020.
In a new report, the committee says: “Removing vital additional support offered by the disability premiums from universal credit risks disabled people living more isolated lives, relying on unpaid care (including from their own dependent children) or simply being unable to complete certain basic daily tasks,”
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