20 October 2020
Statement from the Chief Minister, Senator John le Fondré
Good afternoon. Today the Council of Ministers have lodged a Report and Proposition seeking States Assembly approval to make changes to the controls on who can access work and housing in Jersey.
I want to make clear at the outset that this is not a population policy, but it is the first crucial step to setting the foundations on which a population policy can be developed
There are two key measures of control that affect who can live and work in our Island.
And they are often confused, not only by the public, but politically and by those looking to bring their skills and experience to Jersey.
They are, firstly, the immigration controls that Jersey applies because we are part of the Common Travel Area with the UK and Ireland, and, secondly, the migration controls we apply in the Island through the Control of Housing and Work Law. These two aspects interlock, and that is why we are setting out the changes to both of them today.
Jersey’s membership of the Common Travel Area links our immigration controls to the rest of the CTA and only affects non-British nationals. Those controls protect the Island from those who are not conducive to the public good and from high immigration risk individuals.
They provide a level of security and a system to effect net inward migration. And they protect the domestic labour pool.
Those rules are going to be subject to major changes coming with end of Brexit Transitional Period on 1 January, and the Minister for Home Affairs, will explain those changes.
The Control of Housing & Work system affects everyone in the Island, irrespective of nationality, and provides a system to control the overall population density of Jersey, and the availability of work and housing.
Today we are proposing significant changes that will allow improved controls, better understanding and use of data in managing migration.
On 1 December the States Assembly will debate the Migration Control Policy, which – if approved – will allow us to move ahead in the production of the legislation and the development of the migration control proposals set out in the Council of Minister’s proposition.
We are facing uncertain times and the impacts of Brexit and the coronavirus on the future of the island are not yet fully understood.
The proposed migration controls lodged today are sufficiently robust to restrict the net inward migration rate where required to do so, but also offer the flexibility to allow targeted migration as may be required for our future needs.
Combined with the changes to immigration policy, they will allow us to adapt and remain an Island which welcomes controlled immigration and the skills and diversity that our immigrant population bring to the community.