Earned Citizenship

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 20th February 2008.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Home Secretary 12:31 pm, 20th February 2008

The Government have made an important contribution to ensuring that our communities can function effectively. I would have thought that the right hon. Gentleman, like the chair of the Local Government Association, welcomed our proposals for new and innovative ways in which to tackle the transitional impact of migration on communities. The tens of millions of pounds that we believe that we can raise every year will make an important contribution.

The right hon. Gentleman fell back on a rather a vague assertion that we need to place an arbitrary limit on immigration. He did not appear to be clear about the details of that limit and how it would work, but the most recent estimate by Damian Green is that it could only ever cover one out of five newcomers. Instead of thrashing around for a soundbite approach to limiting migration, it would be better if the right hon. Gentleman engaged seriously in developing the points-based system—which, for the first time, will enable us to be clear that those who come to the UK do so in a way that benefits the country—and responded seriously to our proposals today. Does he believe that the deal for citizenship that we are setting out is the right one and the fair one for Britain, as people throughout the country have told us they believe? Will he support us in our reform? Will he for once engage seriously in looking at the future of our immigration system, as we are today?

Annotations

Christopher Ashley
Posted on 21 Feb 2008 5:24 pm (Report this annotation)

The public want the growth stopped. One out, one in. Simple

Kaihsu Tai
Posted on 27 Feb 2008 3:38 pm (Report this annotation)

4.3 million people living in Britain were born abroad (2001; BBC: "http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4218740.stm"). 5.5 million Britons are living overseas (2006; BBC: "http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6210358.stm").