Labour promises fresh look at UK immigration

06 Oct 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The Labour Party says it will get rid of the Conservatives’ 100,000 a year net UK migration target if it wins the 2015 General Election.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper criticised the Government’s UK immigration policy over its effects on families and students who want to study in Britain. At a fringe meeting at the recent Labour Party conference, she said the current policy did not differentiate between different people who wanted to come to the UK and why they wanted to do so, so that overseas students and asylum seekers were all counted the same in an attempt to reduce the net migration figure.

Instead of having an overall target, Labour would instead look at the issue in more detail and treat people based upon the reasons why they wanted to come to the UK. Therefore, overseas students would not be included in the figures and people seeking asylum in the UK would not be counted as migrants, as they came to the UK to seek protection, The Guardian reported.

Ms Cooper said: “We would not have a net migration target because choosing net migration to focus on is the wrong thing. We think immediately what should happen is that students, international university students, should be taken out of the net migration target straight away.

“What you should instead have is a series of different controls and targets for different kinds of immigration.”

She said it was important to recognise the complexity of the issue and that Labour would introduce a more “sensible” system to control and manage UK immigration.

Universities have already raised concerns about the effects of the Government’s immigration policy on the higher education sector. Students studying in the UK bring around £12 billion annually into the economy.