A new report compiled by a cross-party group of MPs has accused the government of unnecessarily boosting fears regarding UK visas and UK immigration among the British public.
According to the report, the government has encouraged a surge in populist anti-immigration beliefs across Britain, particularly in light of news that Conservative ministers have been exaggerating the number of students who remain in the country following the expiry of their UK visa.
Entitled ‘Integration Not Demonisation’, the report states: “By setting targets for the reduction of immigration, which were never achievable and which they inevitably went on to miss repeatedly, ministers’ undermined public confidence in the ability of the government to manage UK visa and immigration volumes.”
The report also suggested that Prime Minister Theresa May’s target of reducing UK immigration to below 100,000 is the main reason for growing public fears, which has reportedly been criticised by many for a rise in hate crime following the 2016 Brexit vote.
According to The Independent, the report follows closely behind data that suggests there has been a significant fall in the number of EU citizens who want to enter Britain, which has prompted fears of a labour market crisis.
This is mirrored by the cross-party publication, which stated that the government has purposefully fuelled fears among the British public over changes to demographic and cultural change as a result of UK immigration.
Commenting on the results of the report, Labour MP Chuka Umunna said: “The demonisation of immigrants, exacerbated by the poisonous tone of the debate during the EU referendum campaign and after, shames us all and is a huge obstacle to creating a socially integrated nation.”