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Warnings that UK Government’s new immigration rules could break Welsh families apart

06 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Home Secretary James Cleverly – Image: Ben Birchall

Emily Price

Plaid Cymru has warned that many Welsh families could be broken up by the UK Government’s controversial new immigration rules announced this week.

On Monday (December 4) Home Secretary James Cleverly outlined a plan to tackle rising net migration, which would increase the skilled worker earnings threshold – and the minimum income for family visas – to £38,700.

The minimum income requirement is currently £18,600.

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During Wales Questions in the House of Commons, Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams MP raised the case of his constituent, Daniel Griffith, who is due to marry his Brazilian partner next year and make their home in Wales.

Mr Williams said that it was “far from clear at present will they be able to do this under the new income rules”.

Mr Williams pointed out that, unlike MPs who earn enough to meet the threshold, many people in Wales will be deprived of the same freedom.

From next spring, the UK Government will also increase the earning threshold for overseas workers by nearly 50% from its current position of £26,200 to £38,700.

The median annual earnings for Gwynedd, which includes Mr Williams’ constituency of Arfon, is £30,524.

The Plaid Cymru MP said: “Wales’s public services are failed by inflation and austerity, and now face the further difficulty in recruiting the skilled migrants who have become so vital to caring for our aging population, as the family threshold is due to rise to 38,700.

“This is eight thousand pounds higher than the average wage in Gwynedd, with many of my constituents earning significantly less.

“Can the Minister tell me what representations she, or rather the Secretary of State, made to the Home Secretary on effects of the new threshold on Welsh public services?”

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Wales, Fay Jones MP, responded that the Secretary of State has “regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on this issue” but defended the measures introduced this week.

In his second question, Mr Williams raised the case of his constituent.

He said: “This change in the salary threshold will affect real people, real families, real people receiving care.

“In particular, my constituent Daniel Griffith, who is due to marry his Brazilian partner next year. They intend to make their home in Wales. It is far from clear at present will they be able to do this under the new income rules.

“Unlike the Secretary of State and the Minister, and may I say everyone else in this Chamber, why should Daniel have to choose between his wife and his country?”

Reduction

Ms Jones did not answer the question, instead saying that it is policies by the Welsh Labour Government and Plaid Cymru which are “disadvantaging” Wales.

In the Net Migration Press Notice outlining the Home Secretary’s proposals, James Cleverly said: “My plan will deliver the biggest ever reduction in net migration and will mean around 300,000 people who came to the UK last year would not have been able to do so.

“I am taking decisive action to halt the drastic rise in our work visa routes and crack down on those who seek to take advantage of our hospitality.”


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
2 months ago

Another story which drives home the imperative of Independence when WE in Wales will make the rules for OUR country and not be sitting ducks waiting to have them forced on us from outside.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
2 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Yes, We must run our own country. The sooner the better.

UK imperialism is man problem for Walesi.
Every country has a right to be free from this occupation.

If the Labour government has failed it is only on the failure to expel the UK imperialists from Wales as all the other commonwealth countries have done and Ireland.

David Pearn
David Pearn
2 months ago

How much bloody longer have we to put up english laws.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
2 months ago

And if this happened low earning Brits would complain about migrants seemingly being “given” more money than them. This is designed to create a sense of grievance. More disgusting attacks on humanity from the worst most inhuman government ever

G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
2 months ago

I have regrettably come to the conclusion that most Welsh people would be better off going to Calais and returning in a rubber dinghy and claim asylum in England It is arrant nonsense for England to offer asylum in other countries such as Wales , Scotland, Ireland or somewhere warmer like Rwanda Wales has a right to say that asylum granted by England is not the same as being offered by Wales and has no validity in our Country So let us not forget that Wales suffered military conquest followed centuries later by annexation by its neighbours but despite everything… Read more »

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
2 months ago

The uk’s new immigration rules breaks article 16 of the international convention for human rights: (16.1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. 16.2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. 16.3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.) and breaks articles 8, 12… Read more »

Wynn Coleman
Wynn Coleman
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

It’s 8.2 that affords the government the right to implement most of their immigration evils. They have falsely, but successfully argued for years on the Health and national security points. They continue to be unchallenged on these points by the vastly right wing controlled media. Their next fascist option is to law change, and diminish all our human rights. Once they achieve this, it will be the end of personal security for all of us.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 months ago

Besides splitting families numerous sectors will suffer major staff shortages due to this policy. If the government believes vacancies will be filled by people already here it is living in cloud cockoo land. When will it realise we need immigration in this country and not all immigrants are bad. It looks like it will learn the hard way.

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