'Powers over migration policy must be devolved to Wales', says Plaid Cymru MP



Liz Saville-Roberts (Image: Plaid Cymru). Palace of Westminster © Maurice (CC BY 2.0).

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader and Home Affairs spokesperson, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has criticised the UK Government’s plan to give three-month work visas to up to 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers, saying that “essential key workers should be for life – not just for Christmas.”


The Plaid Cymru Westminster leader said that the current supply chain crisis “reveals the disaster of the Tories’ post-Brexit immigration system” reiterated her party’s call to add HGV drivers to the Shortage Occupations List. Doing so could make it easier for firms to hire drivers from abroad until the crisis is solved for good.


Ms Saville Roberts said that long-term, “tinkering around the edges of a fundamentally illogical system” will not be sufficient and said that powers over migration policy must be devolved to Cymru.


She said that a federal immigration system would allow Cymru to “set our own migration quota according to our own needs” and called for the creation of a Welsh Migration Advisory Service to “plug skill gaps and shortages created by the Tories’ disastrous post-Brexit immigration system”.


Federal Immigration System


Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “The worsening supply chain crisis reveals the disaster of the Tories’ post-Brexit immigration system. Years of toxic anti-immigrant rhetoric led to one of the most restrictive immigration systems in Europe, which means it will require much more than a measly three-month visa to convince workers to come here to sort out our mess. Essential key workers should be for life – not just for Christmas.

“It is clear as day that the Shortage Occupations List must be revised to include HGV drivers. But tinkering around the edges of a fundamentally illogical system won’t be enough in the long-term. As well as improving pay and conditions for key workers, Plaid Cymru has long advocated a Welsh visa system to boost our public services such as the NHS and support the private sector in attracting high-skilled workers from around the world. That need is now greater than ever before.

“A federal immigration system would allow Wales to set our own migration quota according to our own needs. By setting up a Welsh Migration Advisory Service, we could plug skill gaps and shortages created by the Tories’ post-Brexit immigration system and ensure Wales remains a welcoming nation for people who wish to contribute to Welsh society.”