Friday, April 3, 2015
There is ferment on immigration in the United Kingdom, which is leading to some calls for the UK to leave the European Union. As ABC reports, British Prime Minister David Cameron and his policies have come under attack from six other party leaders in the only full debate before next month's general election. An unprecedented seven-leader live television contest underscored the fragmentation of the electorate.
An ITV News/ComRes survey of 1,120 viewers showed a tie between Cameron, Ed Miliband (Labour Party), the anti-immigration UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, followed by Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party that is set to sweep up most seats in Scotland. As topics ranged from a housing crisis, to national debt and the health service, Farage, who has blamed many social problems on immigration (see the videos below),insisted the root problem was an influx of immigrants and that Britain should cut migrant numbers by leaving the European Union.
The UK Independence Party's website articulates the following positions on "Controlling and managing our borders"
– UKIP recognises the benefits of limited, controlled immigration.
– UKIP will leave the EU, and take back control of our borders. Work permits will be permitted to fill skills gaps in the UK jobs market.
– We will extend to EU citizens the existing points-based system for time-limited work permits. Those coming to work in the UK must have a job to go to, must speak English, must have accommodation agreed prior to their arrival, and must have NHS-approved health insurance. – Migrants will only be eligible for benefits (in work or out of work) when they have been paying tax and NI for five years and will only be eligible for permanent residence after ten years.
– UKIP will reinstate the primary purpose rule for bringing foreign spouses and children to the UK.
– UKIP will not offer an amnesty for illegal immigrants or those gaining British passports through fraud.
– UKIP will return to the principles of the UN Convention of Refugees which serves to protect the most vulnerable.