Immigration policies from Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative general election manifestos in 2017 compared


Concern over immigration has been among the biggest drivers of political discussion in the UK for years.

Polls frequently find it’s one of the issues most important to people when they’re deciding how to vote.

It’s also one of the issues that set the main parties apart from each other. Some paint immigration as a burden that needs to be greatly reduced, while others point out the benefits of migrant workers to the economy.

Here’s a round up of what the major parties’ manifestos say about how they’d manage immigration.

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General election manifestos 2017

Labour


  • Freedom of movement will end when Britain leaves the EU
  • There will be “fair rules and reasonable management of migration”, without a numerical target
  • The Migrant Impact Fund will be reinstated
  • The ‘minimum income threshold’ which stop British citizens from bringing in spouses from outside Europe unless they earn £18,600 will be dropped, and replaced with an obligation not to rely on benefits
  • Bosses who try to undercut wages using migrant workers will face a crackdown

Conservatives

Theresa May unveiled her manifesto today in Halifax – and it’s not all sweetness and light

  • Net immigration will supposedly be cut below 100,000 a year – a target the Tories have never even come close to meeting in seven years, and which many wanted ditched
  • Students will still be kept in net migration figures despite pleas to take them out
  • The immigration skills charge will be doubled, making firms pay up to £10,000 for each non-EU worker
  • The Immigration Health Surcharge for foreigners using the NHS will rise to £600 for migrant workers (from £200) and £450 for international students (from £150)
  • The Migration Advisory Committee will be asked to recommend on a new visa strategy
  • The Tories will ‘work to reduce’ asylum claims by refugees instead of committing to take more of them

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What do the general election manifestos say about…

Liberal Democrats

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 17: Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron launches the party’s Election Manifesto at the Oval Space on May 17, 2017 in London, England. Britain goes to the polls on June 8 to elect a new parliament in a general election. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

  • The Dubs scheme will be reopened to take 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children from Europe
  • 50,000 refugees over five years will be given sanctuary in Britain under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme
  • No limits on immigration numbers overall
  • Students will be removed from migration statistics
  • The Migrant Impact Fund will be reinstated

Green Party

Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley launch the Green Party’s ‘Green Guarantee’

Ukip


  • Reduce net migration figures to zero in the next five years , figures released today have the number at 248,000.
  • A ban on low skilled migrants entering the country for five years after we leave the EU
  • Foreign spouses of UK citizens will have to prove why they married before being given residency – they will need to prove it is not to earn residency.
  • Force companies to advertise jobs in the UK before looking for staff elsewhere
  • Immigrants will have to work for five years before being allowed to use the NHS – they will have to maintain private medical insurance until then
  • No automatic right to stay for EU migrants who arrived after Article 50 was triggered – if someone entered the UK after 29th March 2017 will not have the automatic right to remain
  • Introduce an Australian-style points-based system and a work permit system for all applicants, except those from the Republic of Ireland.
  • Points-based system will “test the social attitudes of migration applicants to foster community cohesion and protect core British values” .

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