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Fri, 5 June 2020

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WATCH: Priti Patel admits new immigration system could have stopped her parents moving to UK

WATCH: Priti Patel admits new immigration system could have stopped her parents moving to UK
2 min read

Priti Patel has admitted that the Government's new immigration system could have prevented her parents moving to the UK.

The Home Secretary refused to deny that the crackdown would have blocked their entry from from Uganda in the 1960s.

Under the new Australian-style system, visas will not be provided for immigrants classed as low and unskilled.

Instead, points will be awarded to applicants based on their specific skills, qualifications, their ability to speak English and whether they are earning at least £26,500 a year.

During an interview on LBC, presenter Nick Ferrari said he would not be in the UK if the system had been in place when his father wanted to come to the UK.

When he put it to Ms Patel that she would not be in this country either, she replied: "Yeah, but also let’s not also forget Nick we're not changing our approach to refugees and asylum seekers, which is very different from a points-based system for employment and that particular route."

When put to her again that she would not be in the UK under the new measures she said: “Well, the policies are changing. This is the point, we are changing our immigration policy."

The Home Secretary’s grandparents moved from India to Uganda, where her parents were born, before they moved to Hertfordshire and set up a successful chain of newsagents.

Ms Patel told BBC Radio 5 Live that her parents would still qualify to come to the UK under the refugee route because of persecution, but they in fact moved several years before Idi Amin came to power and expelled Ugandan Asians from their country.

Business groups have warned that the new regime could lead to staff shortages in a range of sectors, but the Home Secretary said companies will need to train more British workers to fill any vacancies. 

She insisted 20% of the available working age population could be encouraged into work, despite being told the eight million inactive people were mainly students, the long-term sick, those with caring responsibilities and the retired.

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