Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Labour: End student visa loopholes

Yvette Cooper will say genuine international students are being blocked from studying in the United Kingdom
Yvette Cooper will say genuine international students are being blocked from studying in the United Kingdom

Labour will call for an end to student visitor visa loopholes that are allowing tens of thousands of people to enter the country as the party continues to reposition itself on immigration.

In a major speech, Yvette Cooper will say genuine international students are being blocked from studying in the United Kingdom while the short-term visas are being increasingly abused.

It comes after party leader Ed Miliband admitted in a party political broadcast that Labour had got it wrong on immigration when they were in power.

The Shadow Home Secretary will continue the mea culpa, conceding the party should have been "ready to talk about problems" but it now knows "that needs to change".

She will also acknowledge that the impact of immigration must be properly managed so it is "fair for all".

But Ms Cooper will insist the repositioning does not represent a shift to the right as she argues there must be an effort to distinguish between "immigration that works and immigration that doesn't".

"As Ed Miliband has said, we know Labour got some things wrong on immigration in Government," Ms Cooper will say in the central London speech.

"We will support the Government where it introduces sensible policies and we will point out where they are getting things wrong.

"But we won't enter an arms race of rhetoric on immigration - and we hope the Prime Minister won't either.

"That's not honest, or good for Britain. It is because immigration needs public support that the impact must be properly managed so it is fair for all," she will add.

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