My father was born in Burma and I have seen the positive side of immigration first hand. But mass, uncontrolled immigration puts huge strain on our infrastructure and resources. We cannot manage migration with one arm tied behind our back, unable to limit people coming from within the EU. Why should a skilled worker coming from Australia or India be excluded in favour of an unskilled migrant from Italy or Romania? Reducing pressure on school places, housing and hospitals can still mean attracting the best people. Introducing a points-based system for people from all countries would provide both effective control and greater fairness.
At present we are bearing down heavily on those seeking to come to the UK from outside the UK, but can do nothing about people coming from within apart from checking to see whether their passport is in date and genuine. We need migrants to do many different types of jobs but with three times the number staffing our NHS coming from outside the EU, than from within, we need to have a fairer structure.
Two worries people have is how it would affect EU citizens already here and about British subjects living abroad. The answer is likely to be very little for the former and possibly change for some of the latter. It is rare that British law is changed retrospectively. Therefore those EU citizens living and working here would be able to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain and stay. Most British people abroad will either be working or have independent means themselves or through the support of family and friends and so should changes be introduced in their country of residence, they would see little change. If we are asking for a fairer system, it is reasonable that other countries seek the same so anyone that is dependent on welfare in another country may need to review their situation. However none of these changes will happen overnight so there is plenty of time.
If we stay in the European Union, immigration would remain unchecked, leaving us unable to stop those with EU citizenship settling in the UK. Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania are seeking membership of an expanded EU. We hear that Turkey will likely not be able to join for sometime. However the UK alone is paying £2 billion towards pre-accession changes to help these countries enter. If there is no prospect of them joining, there seems to be no point in spending UK taxpayers’ money on this. The decision must be unanimous at an EU level so we do have a veto on this. David Cameron has said on a number of occasions that he is supportive of Turkey joining but now says that France would veto their membership. It is not enough to push the blame onto another country. There has been no clear statement as to the current UK government position on this recently.