Priti Patel slammed for bragging about immigration bill which dismisses many key workers as 'unskilled'

Priti Patel slammed for bragging about immigration bill which dismisses many key workers as 'unskilled'

The House of Commons yesterday approved Priti Patel's immigration bill by 351 votes to 252, meaning it's one step closer to becoming law.

Patel's bill, which would replace EU freedom of movement, has been widely criticised since it was announced in February, in particular for its definition of what an "unskilled" worker is.

Since lockdown, this has become an even more prominent issue, with many people pointing out that it's these workers that Patel wants to keep out of the country which have been propping it up for the past months.

Shortly after the vote, the home secretary tweeted about the bill, saying – presumably sans irony – that: "We’re ending free movement to open Britain up to the world."

Although not all political activity can be expected to stop because of the pandemic, people still found it to be pretty distasteful and heartless, given the circumstances, to be tweeting about how great it is to keep people away from our borders at a time that calls for solidarity.

And no one was buying the idea that making it harder to come to the UK would somehow "open Britain up" to the world.

The same old criticism of the bill itself started kicking off. Starting with all the people who would have been turned away based on the regulations, including Patel's own parents.

And all the much much better ways the Tories could collect funds if they really wanted to.

People were angry for all the people it would exclude.

Last week it was revealed that the home office had no intention of reviewing the surcharge which foreign workers (including NHS workers) are forced to pay on top of their taxes to access the NHS. The Independent reported that this could cost up to £8,000 for a family of four on a four-year visa.

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