UK gov departments will share digital records to clamp down on immigration

Three government departments will share their data on citizens to develop a digital immigration system after Brexit, improving the prospects of both those coming into the country and existing UK residents.

Home Office, HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will share the information they hold and introduce a system to make it easier for employers and public service departments to check immigrants’ identities, according to an anonymous source who revealed the documents to the Guardian.The document, called Border, Immigration and Citizenship System After the UK Leaves the European Union, will apparently be “as digital, flexible and frictionless for individuals and employers as possible.”

It includes a portal where employers and any other party that needs to find out information about those entering the country can check an individual’s immigration status and “take action where necessary.” The portal will link together all the information about each person, including their tax records, benefit status and other records in a fully digitized way. The report also goes into detail about other plans when the UK exits the EU, including employment restrictions on those who come to the UK from other countries in the EU, saying it will give preference in the job market to resident workers. EU nationals would be restricted from seeking work and reduce the opportunities for workers looking to settle in the UK for long periods of time.

We are clear that, wherever possible, UK employers should look to meet their labour needs from resident labour. It is now more important than ever that we have the right skills domestically to build a strong and competitive economy,” the paper said.The government also plans to scrap the rights for extended family members being able to reside in the UK. “We propose to define family members as direct family members only, plus durable partners,” the report said. For a spouse to be allowed entry, the UK resident must be earning a minimum of £18,000 a year.

“Put plainly, this means that, to be considered valuable to the country as a whole, immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off,” the report finished. The proposals are an attempt to address net migration, which the government aims to cut from 250,000 annually, down to “sustainable levels” in the tens of thousands.

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