Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

What are the parties saying about immigration in the election campaign?

What plans do each of the parties have for managing the country’s borders?

The parties have given their approach on immigration (Steve Parsons/PA)
The parties have given their approach on immigration (Steve Parsons/PA)

By Flora Thompson, PA Home Affairs Correspondent

Immigration policies have formed a central part of the General Election campaign so far as the debate over Brexit continues.

But what plans do each of the parties have for managing the country’s borders?

Conservatives:

– An Australian-style points-based immigration system. The party’s manifesto says it would be a fairer and firmer system and would prioritise law-abiding people with a good education and a “good grasp of English”.

– Cut overall immigration numbers, make sure fewer “lower skilled” migrants enter the country.

bpanews_567e332a-d489-4473-b861-fc22b07dc7e1_embedded248836194
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

– Bring in the “NHS visa” to offer qualified doctors, nurses and health professionals fast-track entry and a discount on the fee. The promise of introducing a “start-up visa” is hoped to attract entrepreneurs to the country.

– All migrants will be asked to pay taxes before they can receive benefits, the manifesto says.

Labour:

– A “humane immigration system” which would try to meet skills and labour shortages.

– Scrap the 2014 Immigration Act in which the hostile environment policy towards migrants was established.

– End indefinite detention and close immigration removal centres Yarl’s Wood in Bedford and Brook House in Gatwick Airport. The party claims savings of £20 million made from the closure could be used to provide support services for victims of modern slavery, people trafficking and domestic violence.

– Reintroduce the overseas domestic workers’ visa.

bpanews_567e332a-d489-4473-b861-fc22b07dc7e1_embedded248841722
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

– Bid to maintain the rights of freedom of movement even if Brexit goes ahead.

– Pledge to establish safe and legal routes for asylum seekers and meet legal obligations towards refugees as well as allowing them the right to work and access public services when in the UK.

 Liberal Democrats:

– A fair migration system in which the party pledges to stop Brexit and maintain EU freedom of movement.

– Scrap the hostile environment policy.

– Fund more officers, training and technology to prevent illegal entry at the borders.

– Introduce a 28-day time limit on immigration detention and close seven of the UK’s nine detention centres.

– Establish a “firewall” to prevent public agencies from sharing personal information with the Home Office for immigration enforcement and repeal the exemption of immigration information in the Data Protection Act.

– Move policy-making on work permits and students from the Home Office and into the business and education departments.

bpanews_567e332a-d489-4473-b861-fc22b07dc7e1_embedded248886290
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson (Danny Lawson/PA)

– Set up a non-political agency to take over processing applications.

– Scrap current work visas with a “flexible merit-based system”.

– Introduce a training programme to make the most of migrants’ skills.

– Bring in a two-year visa for students to work after graduation.

– Cut fees for registering a child as a British citizen and scrap minimum income requirements for spouse and partner visas.

– Allow people who came to the country as children to apply for resident status.

Green Party:

– End the hostile environment policy, indefinite detention and close immigration detention centres.

bpanews_567e332a-d489-4473-b861-fc22b07dc7e1_embedded248436730
Deputy leader Amelia Womack and Green Party co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry (Isabel Infantes/PA)

– Suspend all deportation flights immediately and allow refugees a right to work while their applications are considered.

– A “humane” immigration system with no minimum income rules for visas and full workplace rights for migrants.

– Scrap charging migrants for healthcare.

– Scrap the Home Office and replace it with a Ministry for Sanctuary (MfS) and a Ministry of the Interior. MfS would enforce migration rules with “compassion”.

Brexit Party:

bpanews_567e332a-d489-4473-b861-fc22b07dc7e1_embedded248929295
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

– “Crack down” on illegal immigration and stop the “human tragedy associated with human trafficking”.

– Reduce annual immigration and address a gap in skills by “introducing a fair points system that is blind to ethnic origin”.

– Provide a “humane welcome for genuine refugees”.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph