Immigration Controls

Part of Opposition Day — [19th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 21st October 2008.

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Photo of Christopher Huhne Christopher Huhne Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Home Affairs, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice & Lord Chancellor, Ministry of Justice 4:29 pm, 21st October 2008

The hon. Gentleman is right to remind me and the House of that, but this country had certain specific obligations to the population of Hong Kong, because the people involved were British passport holders. He may not recognise those obligations, but under certain circumstances this country must allow people to come here. For example, we very honourably took in 50,000 Huguenot asylum seekers—for that is what they were—even though that number represented 1 per cent. of our entire population. Such action is entirely appropriate under certain emergency circumstances, and I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the point that he raises, although it is irrelevant to this debate, which is about economic migration.

The most recent estimate from the Government comes from 2001 and shows that we have 430,000 illegal immigrants. That is the result of the Government's mismanagement—

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