Today saw the release of the Government’s long awaited Immigration White Paper which sets out proposals for the UK’s future immigration system.

Calling it the ‘UK’s future skills-based immigration system’, the paper signifies the end of the free movement of people between the UK and the EEA and instead proposes a single immigration system to be used by people across the world who wish to live, work and study in the UK.

Commenting on the White Paper, Professor Sir Pete Downes, President of the Biochemical Society said:

‘Science is an international discipline and both research and innovation rely heavily on collaboration and the sharing of ideas, resources and skills to thrive. Without collaboration we will struggle to develop new technologies and solutions to address the grand challenges we find ourselves facing today. The movement of scientists, researchers and technicians is a vital part of collaboration and the Society welcomes the Government’s announcement that the visa cap for skilled workers is to be removed. However, many highly skilled roles within science pay significantly less than £30,000, and the Society is concerned that setting a salary threshold at this level risks damaging the United Kingdom’s position at the forefront of molecular biosciences. We urge the Government to revisit the minimum salary threshold, and ensure that the UK remains welcoming to scientists and technicians at all levels.’