It was surprising to hear Labour leader Ed Miliband admit that he would still like to see more immigration into the UK. Even though under Labour immigration rocketed with net migration at a record 2.2 million people – twice the population of Birmingham – the Labour leader refused to admit that they had let too many people into the country.
In an interview last week, Ed Miliband continued Labour’s denial on immigration:
• He denied that net migration was too high under Labour.
• He denied that immigration needs to be reduced now.
• He denied that Government plans to reduce net migration down to sustainable levels in the tens not hundreds of thousands a year should be supported.
Despite their record on immigration Labour are refusing to offer a full apology. Ed Miliband’s denials confirm that Labour still aren’t being straight with people on immigration:
• Last month Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, tried to claim that Labour had reduced migration whereas in fact the 12 months before June 2010 saw record levels of net migration.
• A few weeks ago Ed Miliband’s former speech writer Lord Glasman said that ‘Labour lied to people about the extent of immigration’ but Ed Miliband refused to admit to this.
• Ed Miliband has also attacked the Government’s cap on economic migration, calling it a ‘very dubious thing’ even though it is backed by more than 4 in 5 people including two thirds of Labour voters.
This government is committed to controlling immigration. We aim to reduce net migration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands a year. To achieve this we need to address all visa routes:
• We have capped economic migration from outside of the EU
• We have reformed the largest route, the student visa system, and clamped down on widespread abuses – we except student visa numbers to fall by up to 80,000 or a quarter of the current total.
• We will soon take action to break the link between temporary routes and permanent settlement, and to address the family visa route.
Just like on the economy, Labour are in denial on immigration – they refuse to admit that levels of migration were too high under Labour. Their message on immigration seems to be “vote for us and we will do it all over again.
Labour aren’t being straight with people – they claim to support controlled migration but they won’t support our plans to reduce immigration. They have attacked our cap on economic migration and our reforms to the student visa route to tackle abuse.
Only the Government is committed to bringing down net migration back to the levels of the 1990s – the tens of thousands not the hundreds of thousands.
15th May 2011