General Election 2015 – Immigration

As you will be aware the general election will be held on Thursday 7th May 2015. It is anticipated to be one of the closest since 1945 with opinion polls and commentators at odds as to which party will win or whether there will be another coalition government.

Given the importance of immigration and the ever changing immigration rules, we thought that it would be important to highlight the key immigration policies of the main political parties, which may give an insight into the new immigration changes that could take place after the general election depending on the party/parties elected:

Labour

  • Fines for employing illegal immigratnts will be increased;
  • Stronger border controls, with proper entry and exit checks;
  • New targets to reduce low-skilled migration;
  • Ensuring that university students and high-skilled workers are not deterred from the UK;

Conservatives

  • Goal to bring net immigration down to below 100,000 people a year, it is currently 243,000;
  • Migrants will no longer be able to claim child benefits for children living outside of the UK;
  • Migrants would have to wait for four years before they can claim certain benefits;
  • Migrants who fail to find work after six months would be removed;
  • Reform EU free movement rules;

Liberal Democrats

  • EU migrants will have to earn their entilement to benefits;
  • All new claimants for Jobseekers Allowance will have their English language skills assessed, if English is poor then claimants must attend language courses;
  • Exit checks will be reintroduced at borders, so those who are overstaying will be identified;

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

  • Bring net migration to 50,000 people a year, it is currently 243,000;
  • Increase border staff by 2,500;
  • Introduce priority lanes for UK passport holders at the border;
  • Make English language tests for migrants applying for permanent residence tougher;
  • Introduce an Australian style points system, where migrants from inside and outside of the EU would be selected based on their skills and attributes;
  • Will leave the EU, anyone who currently has a legal right to live, work, study in the UK would not face removal if the UK withdraws from the EU;

Scottish National Party (SNP)

  • Introduce a Canadian style earned citizen system to attract highly-skilled migrants;
  • Scotland would have control over immigration to Scotland;

Green Party

  • Reduce UK immigration controls;
  • Migrants in the UK illegally for over 5 years will be allowed to remain in the UK, except where they pose a serious danger to the public;
  • More legal rights for asylum seekers;

Plaid Cymru

  • Oppose an immigration points system;
  • Support the right for asylum seekers to work in Wales while they wait for a decision.

At present the parties have yet to publish their manifestos, therefore their immigration proposals have yet to be fully outlined in detail.

We will continue to keep you updated.

Posted in English on Feb 24, 2015.