A Labour government would bring in a simplified visa system for foreign workers with "bona fide skills", Diane Abbott has said. The shadow home secretary said the party would also scrap the government's "bogus" net migration target.
She set out plans for a "flexible work visa" to end the "idiocy" of medical staff not being able to take up jobs. Migrants from outside the EU should be treated with the same "fairness" as EU migrants after Brexit, she added.
The Conservatives said Labour's new policy would "tear up the rules for people coming from outside the EU which would allow more low-skilled immigration".
Under the current system, non-EU migrants are rated on whether their skills are needed by the UK economy, with occupations ranked in tiers drawn up by the Migration Advisory Committee. Under Labour's plans "anyone with specified bona fide skills can come here to work," Diane Abbott said in a speech.
A "new, integrated work visa" would "allow a future Labour government to "offer rights of work and residency and accelerated citizenship to a range of professions, workers and those creating employment who want to come here," she added. "It will be available to all those we need to come here, whether it is doctors, or scientists, or care workers.