Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Tomlinson MP

MP For North Swindon

Swindon Advertiser Column - We Have Built A Tough And Fair Immigration System

I mentioned in my column last week that I was set to head to the 15th Petersberg Climate Dialogue event in Berlin, with a particular focus on international climate finance. In my new role, I was to lead the UK delegation, where I was the UK’s voice in all the presentations, workshops and 1-1 meetings with other nations. To be sat next to such experienced and well-respected international politicians was a very proud moment and I was very grateful to my counterparts from the US and Uganda for their kindness in the early sessions as they talked me through the process.

From the UK’s perspective, we very much lead the way on this – we are the first major economy to have cut emissions by half since 1990 and we have taken renewable energy from just 7% in 2010, to 47% today – all whilst the economy has grown by 80%. We have achieved this as we have worked pro-actively to unlock private investment to not only deliver on our ambitious climate change targets, but also deliver energy security and ultimately lower consumer bills.

I was supported throughout the day by a very experienced team, who would provide quick explainers of the (often complex) relationships between different countries, the different aspirations and where they could and should be common ground. I very much enjoyed speaking about the UK’s strong record. So, our message throughout the day was that you can only succeed if you work in collaboration and make sure households and businesses gain from cheaper, cleaner energy. A message that was warmly received.

This week also saw the release of new statistics which show that the government’s plans to address mass migration are working.

I welcome that, following the introduction of new measures earlier this year, the numbers coming to the UK on the three biggest visa routes are down 24 per cent and the number of dependants accompanying students to the UK is down by almost 80 per cent.

In addition to the above, the government is stopping immigration undercutting British workers by increasing the minimum earnings threshold for skilled worker visas by 48 per cent, is ensuring that people only sponsor family members they can support financially and is increasing migrant health fees to help pay for the NHS.

The levels of mass migration we have seen in our country are unsustainable, along with being unfair to the British public. This is why the government has introduced the toughest reforms to our migration system ever. These measures will result in cutting the number of people coming to the UK by 300,000 every year.

We have to build an immigration system which is tough but fair, and one that ultimately serves the interests of the British people.

Finally, as you will be reading today’s column, Swindon Borough Council will be in the midst of counting the votes for this year’s local elections. Whilst the Council can’t change hands as Labour now have such a large majority, I know how nervous the candidates will be awaiting their fate. I spent ten very happy years as a Councillor for the old Abbey Meads ward, prior to becoming the North Swindon MP. I wish all the successful candidates the best of luck, in particular any new Councillors and I very much look forward to working with them.

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