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UK Labour Party leader says immigration will be tightened up if his party gains power

October 2013, 08
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The leader of the Labour party in the UK, Ed Milliband, has vowed that his party will slash immigration if they win the next general election.
Milliband has been facing growing pressure recently but unveiled the party's plans to deal with immigration in the country if Labour wins the vote due to be held in 2015.

Milliband facing dissent

The leader of the opposition has been coming under increasing pressure in recent weeks to set out Labour's agenda, including what their plans would be for immigration in the UK. With Prime Minister David Cameron not enjoying much popularity, many have criticised Milliband for failing to outline alternative measures and offer an credible alternative.
Indeed, much of the dissent comes from within; Labour's own bench seems to be questioning their leader. According to a BBC poll, three out of ten local councillors believe the party would progress more with a different person at the helm. Despite this, insiders say there will be no leadership allowance but Milliband has realised quite how critical the next party conference will be.
In a bid to take a more decisive stand, the leader of the opposition has now said that his party would be looking to take a much tighter line with immigration and would introduce measures which would not only include reducing the numbers permitted but also taking a closer look at the firms who employ non-EU workers from overseas.

Immigration is a controversial issue all over the world
Immigration is a controversial issue all over the world

Labour plan to slash immigration

After being quizzed by the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, Milliband said Labour would introduce a raft of new measures designed to impose tighter controls over immigration.
The opposition leader said that Labour would create a new immigration bill which would 'secure control of our borders, crack down on exploitation of workers coming here undercutting workers already here, and says to big companies that bring in people from outside the EU that they can do that within a cap, but they have got to train the next generation'.
When pressed for specifics, Milliband said that some of the measures Labour would introduce under the bill would include:
  • Force large firms who employ foreign workers to take on one apprentice per Tier 2 visa holder 
  • Freeze the cap on Tier 2 workers coming from outside the EU (currently standing at 20,700)
  • Prevent employers from taking on workers from overseas at a rate below the national wage in the UK
  • Stop recruitment firms advertising jobs specifying 'foreign workers only'
But the details of Labour's immigration policies have not been widely welcomed by employers and businesses.
Three of the largest groups in the UK, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry and the Institute of Directors have all slammed the plans because they believe it would not only increase costs but also damage competitiveness in the UK labour market.
Ed Milliband
Ed Milliband is targeting immigration as an important issue for the UK
A spokesperson for the British Chambers of Commerce, John Longworth, said the measures would not only fail to make any impact on immigration but they would also be of no help in assisting young people find work.
The Conservatives were also quick to condemn Labour's proposals, suggesting that they would not only be unfair but the apprenticeship scheme would be illegal as EU rules prevent any country from actively providing their own residents with an advantage over an immigrant worker.

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