Immigration Controls

Part of Opposition Day — [19th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:03 pm on 21st October 2008.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Home Secretary 4:03 pm, 21st October 2008

I apologise to my hon. Friend, but I am coming to a conclusion.

When it comes to protecting our border, enforcing the law, selecting what skills we need here and setting high expectations of those who come, the Government will continue to act in Britain's best interests on immigration. The points system gives us the grip and flexibility to adjust the numbers coming here according to the needs and circumstances of the time—we heard nothing new from the hon. Member for Ashford on that today. Our proposals on earned citizenship mean that migrants understand very clearly that permission to come here to work or study does not give them the right to settle here indefinitely. Again, there was silence from the hon. Gentleman on the tough measures that we will take to make sure migrants speak English, obey the law and pay their way.

The introduction of ID cards for foreign nationals next month will further strengthen our protections and provide greater reassurance. In the Conservatives' opposition to ID cards, we see another gaping hole in their argument. This Government are facing up to the challenge, even while the shadow Home Secretary looks on, and I commend my amendment to the House.

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