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Immigration down by a third
03/03/2013 10:50:00


Regular readers of my blog will know that I take a particular interest in immigration policy. It’s an issue that is also of concern to many of my constituents.

People of all political persuasions and all ethnic backgrounds feel that net migration was too high under the last Government. It’s important that we bring those numbers down – and also that we restore public faith in the system, in particular that people who shouldn’t be here are being removed.

The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that the Government is making progress towards its ambition of reducing net migration to below 100,000.

Net immigration into the UK in the year ending June 2012 was 163,000, compared to 235,000 in June 2010. That’s a decrease of nearly a third.

Visa numbers show that this trend is set to continue - the number of visas issued last year also went down, but some of the underlying figures in relation to people studying for their first year of study and postgraduate students were less encouraging, showing that we need to make sure that we consistently send out the message that our world-class universities are open for business.

Immigration brings benefits to the UK, but allowing it to get out of control is one of the worst legacies of the last Labour government. We must strike the right balance to create to create an immigration system which truly works in our national interest.

But as I’ve argued on many occasions, it’s important that we get the balance right – some immigration is good for the country. We should always be open to bright students, entrepreneurs and people with the skills we need.

Comment on this blog


Readers' Comments

On 07/03/2013 23:29:00 Jim wrote:
We can never have a balanced immigration policy whilst we have an open door policy to 27 other countries in Europe. Why should an unskilled Bulgarian be able to come to the UK whilst a company wishing to employ a skilled New Zealander has to jump through hoops to get a work permit?

Visa numbers down just means that fewer of the people we would like to come here aren't bothering whilst those we don't want come here anyway. The Home Office/Border Agency (whatever it's called these days) hasn't got a clue how many illegals are here.

I cringed at David Cameron in India lecturing students on the UK being open to them. Visa fees are up, flight costs are up (thanks to this government continuing to increase air passenger charges which foreign visitors also pay) and they no longer have the automatic right to gain some work experience after completing their degrees. Oh and universities can no longer decide who to take as the government has imposed English test requirements on applicants. More expense and red tape. If they do make it as far as Heathrow T3, then they'll be lucky to be kept waiting less than hour before getting in. Can't blame them for going elsewhere and leaving this country to rot.

On 20/03/2013 19:37:00 Tina Souter-Jones wrote:
Our schools, hospitals, police etc, etc, etc are at breaking point and yet in January we are opening the floodgates to how many more hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Romania/Bulgaria?, not only this they are welcome to claim god knows what benefits they wish and work here. I have been watching many police programmes recently and it seems most of the crimes are committed by immigrants, what do these people contribute to our society?. We are having difficulty getting our children into our local schools, waiting lists at hospitals are getting longer, our taxes are going up as well as budgets being cut in every single service, why?. It is because we are having to pay for hundreds of thousands of immigrants to sit on benefits, give them, houses, clothes, cars, food etc. what do our kids get? , NOTHING!. We have to go to work to get everything so why shouldn't they?. Don't get me wrong if immigrants come here to work and pay taxes like us and itergrate into our culture then I would welcome them but why change the criteria in January 2014?. Why should they be able to claim benefits when they have not paid into the system and why do we have to pay child benefit for children that don't even live here when our child benefits are being taken away?. Something just isn't right in this countries system and I am contemplating not voting Conservative again as I thought that they would sort out Labours failings but it seems they are just going along with them. Something needs to be done about immigration before it is too late, I seriously worry about my children's future.

On 21/03/2013 08:18:00 David wrote:
Recently watched a television programme about metal theft by Romanian gangs and how they operate near our motorway networks, stripping cable networks laid to supply lighting and energy to our hospitals, industrial centres and homes.

When caught, they are invariably given bail and surprise, surprise fail to appear at court. The police are under resourced to deal with the problem. The cost to our energy companies is astronomic.

How is it that in the current immigration cycle these people are allowed entry into our country and what will it be like next year when they will have total access to entry along with access to our benefit system, NHS and housing?




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Gavin Barwell, 133 Wickham Road, CR0 8TE, Tel  020 8663 8741      © Gavin Barwell  2019       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG