Tuesday, 29 March 2005

Action On Immigration

The number of workers coming to the UK from the EU accession countries has topped 150,000 since last May – a rate of 9,000 a month (Daily Express, 28 March 2005). This is more than ten times Government predictions of 5-13,000 arrivals a year.
Why Labour are all talk
Tony Blair said: ‘Every country must have firm control over immigration and Britain is no exception’ (Labour Manifesto, 97). After eight years in power, and just months before an election, Mr Blair claims that he can fix our chaotic immigration system. People will see that is all talk.
• Immigration has tripled under Labour. Total net immigration to Britain averaged 157,000 people a year between 97 and 2003; between 93 and 97 the average was 50,000. 157,000 people equivalent to a town the size of Peterborough arrive in the UK every year.
• Only one in five asylum seekers is removed from the United Kingdom. Under Labour, there are now over 250,000 failed asylum seekers living in Britain who have no right to be here.
• According to Labour’s own predictions, Britain’s population will increase by 6.1 million over the next thirty years. Immigration will account for 84 per cent of the increase (roughly five million people). That is equivalent to five times the population of Birmingham.
• The cost of immigration and asylum has increased tenfold under Labour. It has rocketed from £200 million in 1996-7 to almost £2 billion in 2003-4.
Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats want to surrender Britain’s asylum and immigration policies to the European Union and want to remove the control that Britain has over its borders.
What will Conservatives do?
The Conservatives believe we need a fair immigration and asylum system that helps genuine refugees and gives priority to those who want to work hard and make a positive contribution.
• A Conservative Government will set an annual maximum limit on the number who can settle in Britain, including a quota for asylum seekers.
• Britain will take her fair share of the world’s genuine refugees. We have a moral obligation to help those fleeing persecution.
• Conservatives will introduce an Australian-style points system for work permits – giving priority to people with the skills Britain needs.
• We will ensure that where work permits are temporary, they carry no presumption of a right to settle permanently in the UK.
• We will put in place 24-hour security at ports to prevent illegal immigration.
• We will put in place effective health checks for those coming to the United Kingdom.
People have a clear choice: controlled and limited immigration with the Conservatives, or unlimited immigration under Mr Blair and the Liberal Democrats.

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