Nearly seven million immigrants came to the UK when the Blair and Brown Labour governments deliberately and recklessly threw open our borders between 1997 and 2010. Over two million more have arrived since David Cameron came to power and spectacularly broke his promise to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands…No ifs. No buts.” This unprecedented influx has had significant consequences on our economy, our public services, our culture and our environment.
Evidence from the EU and the UK Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee reveals how immigration has driven down wages and led to job losses for British workers. The sheer weight of numbers, combined with rising birth rates (particularly to immigrant mothers) and an ageing population, is pushing public services to breaking point.
To meet demand, we must build one home every seven minutes; we wait longer to see our GP or be treated in hospitals; our children are learning in schools with over-sized classes, or having lessons disrupted by building work as schools are forced to keep expanding.
The British public has every right to be concerned.Surveys consistently show immigration as one of the top three issues for voters. Yet, instead of listening, the old parties have responded with insults and contempt: even our prime ministers have labelled good, decent people ‘closet racists’ and ‘bigots.’
Immigration is not about race; it is about space. Immigrants are not the problem; it is the current immigration system that is broken.
Our current immigration rules ignore the wishes of the British people. They discriminate in favour of EU citizens and against the rest of the world. The system is failing so badly that we cannot even properly identify how many people enter and leave our country.
TO REFORM OUR IMMIGRATION SYSTEM UKIP WILL:
• Take back control of our borders • Put a five-year moratorium on immigration for unskilled workers, which will enable the unemployed already living here to find work and those already working to see wage growth • Introduce an Australian-style points based system to manage the number and skills of people coming into the country, treating all citizens of the world on a fair and equal basis as a welcoming, outward-looking country • Tackle the problem of sham marriages.
These policies are essential if we are to give our country the breathing space it desperately needs from mass uncontrolled immigration, create harmonious, integrated communities, and catch up on building the essential infrastructure needed to sustain our growing nation.
The increasing ebb and flow of people across our planet is one of the greatest issues of our time. In 1950s Britain, some 25,000 immigrants arrived here annually and net migration was negligible. Now, immigration into the UK is at an all time high: in the year to September 2014, 624,000 migrants moved to our island and annual net migration, which takes into account those leaving the country, now stands at 298,000, again, a new record