Westminster Legal Policy Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Next steps for the new UK Immigration system - implementation, impact and options for further reform

Morning, Thursday, 15th October 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is bringing together key stakeholders with policymakers to discuss developments and priorities for the UK immigration system.

The agenda:

  • The Migration Advisory Committee’s review into shortage occupations - key findings
  • The UK’s immigration rules and taking forward options for simplification
  • Supporting immigrants and their rights at a time of change
  • The new points-based immigration system - impact, and ensuring that the system works effectively for individuals, communities and the economy
  • Designing an immigration system that works for all parts of the UK
  • Enforcing new immigration rules and criteria
  • Implementing the points-based immigration system

Discussion areas at a glance:

The points-based immigration system

  • practicalities:
    • implementation - priorities and remaining issues for introduction of the system in January 2021
    • the criteria - examining the requirements including in the areas of English language ability, qualifications, salary, the job offer and sponsor, and areas of skills shortage
  • recruitment:
    • international talent - priorities for UK businesses, with concerns over the initially-proposed salary level, and the absence of a route for workers with lower skills and pay
    • shortage occupations   - the effect on sectors such as social care, particularly in light of pressures on the sector following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • levelling up:
    • across sectors and across the UK - looking at how a reformed system can best cater for all parts of the UK economy and the different regions and nations
    • local issues and solutions - the likely impact of the new system, options and strategies for locally-focused skills gaps to be filled, and attracting skilled workers to live and work outside London

The Law Commission’s immigration rule reforms

  • impact - assessing the recommendations put forward by the Law Commission to simplify the immigration rules, the response from government
  • the proposals - shorter, redrafted guidelines to improve accessibility and ease of use, and the effect on immigration practitioners

Seasonal workers

  • the Seasonal Workers Pilot - assessing implementation and early indications of progress in meeting workforce demands for key sectors such as construction, agriculture, and hospitality
  • COVID-19  - the likely impact on meeting workforce demand in these areas of the economy

Higher education - UK university access to global talent as a result of reform

Enforcement and irregular migration

  • border control and international co-operation - including new technology expected to be introduced and the UK’s potential withdrawal from the Schengen Information System
  • online application process and checks - the EU Settlement Scheme and the European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme and the practicalities, record so far and propsects for the future

Relevant developments:

  • The UK's points-based immigration system: policy statement - the Government’s announcement that it will introduce a new points-based immigration system from January 2021
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - continuing its passage through Parliament, which will end freedom of movement arrangements with the European Union
  • Shortage occupation list - the recently concluded consultation by the MAC on medium skilled roles, with a final list expected soon
  • Simplifying the Immigration Rules: a response - following the Law Commission’s report
  • irregular migration:
    • refugees  - reports of increasing attempts to travel to the UK from mainland Europe
    • ongoing Brexit negotiations -  prospects for  agreement for reuniting asylum seekers with families under the Dublin Regulation at the end of the transition period
    • Home Secretary appoints small boat commander - the new Clandestine Channel Threat Commander role to lead the UK’s response to managing boat crossings across the channel
    • Annual inspection of ‘Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention’ - the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s call for evidence ahead of their report, examining the effectiveness of changes made in response to COVID-19 following the first report earlier this year
  • Home Secretary announces details of the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa
  • net migration levels in Scotland - the Expert Advisory Group on migration and population suggesting the new immigration rules could risk labour shortages, particularly in areas such as food production

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It is certainly the case with this conference. Places have been reserved by officials from BEIS; the Department of Education; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; HM Revenue & Customs; the Home Office; the Migration Advisory Committee Secretariat; the Office of the Sentencing Council; UKRI; the Department for the Economy NI and The Scottish Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Professor Brian Bell

Chair, Migration Advisory Committee

Philip McNally

Corporate Immigration and Employment, KPMG Ireland

Keynote Speakers

Philip McNally

Corporate Immigration and Employment, KPMG Ireland

Professor Brian Bell

Chair, Migration Advisory Committee

Satbir Singh

Chief Executive, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Stuart McDonald MP

SNP Spokesperson for Immigration and Asylum

A senior speaker confirmed Home Office

Tony Smith

Former Head of UK Border Force and Chairman, International Border Management and Technologies Association (IBMATA)

Nicholas Paines QC

Commissioner (Public Law), Law Commission


Lord Dubs

Member, Joint Committee on Human Rights

Baroness Sally Hamwee

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Immigration (subject to parliamentary business)


Lucinda Allen

Policy Officer, Health Foundation

Alex Russell

Partner, Mills and Reeve

Chetal Patel

Partner, Bates Wells

Emelia Quist

Senior Policy Lead Advisor, Federation of Small Businesses

Harry Anderson

Policy Manager, Universities UK

Sally Daghlian

Chief Executive, Praxis Community Projects