Tories get tough on immigration after Labour's U-turn on foreign workers
By Matthew Hickley
Last updated at 10:09 AM on 20th October 2008
The Tories today issued a new call for tougher curbs on immigration as they warned that more than 80 per cent of migrants to Britain since 1997 came from outside the EU.
Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve said that official figures showed that 2.3 million people have moved here since Labour came to power. Of these, 1.96 million, or 84 per cent, came from outside Europe, where migration can be controlled, while only 374,000, or 16 per cent, had come from the EU.
Mr Grieve said the figures showed that the Government had displayed a " failure to control economic migration from outside the EU" and called for a " fundamental change in approach" that would restrict the numbers arriving from outside Europe.
The Tory attack follows the comments by the new immigration minister Phil Woolas who caused controversy at the weekend by suggesting that he wanted to curb migration to prevent Britain's population spiralling to more than 70 million - as official projections have suggested it will if the current rate of arrivals continue.
On Saturday, Mr Woolas had said he would make it harder for immigrants to come to Britain.
But when challenged over the detail of his proposals on Sunday, Mr Woolas appeared to be in full retreat.
He played down talk of a cap on immigration - as promised by the Tories - and apologised if people had been 'confused' by his statements.
Sometimes making the "tough" decision is the right decision and when it comes to immigration matters it appears that those on the "progressive" left are not only too cowardly to do the right thing but also impotent as well. It never seems to get into their heads that an out of control mass immigration system also hurts immigrants along with the labour movement and the working and impoverished classes. That's why I am totally baffled with Canada's labour friendly New Democratic Party whose criticisms of the immigration system is limited to advocating for greater numbers. The U.K.s Labour Party is equally disappointing and baffling with this latest reversal.
Fortunately for the U.K. they have a Tory Party that will openly demand decreased immigration numbers along with more controls. Here in Canada we get none of that.