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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:32 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary 2:32 pm, 13th October 2015

I shall come on to that. [Hon. Members: “Ah!”] It is a fair point and I shall come on to it. May I again refer the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues to the research? The UCL Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration talks about the positive economic benefit of migration overall. He needs to concern himself with the evidence before he intervenes in the House.

As I said a moment ago, the House has not kept pace with public concern, and as I said in my speech to the Labour conference, I want to change that. People listening to debates in the Chamber or in the media will often hear politicians and business leaders make the point that I made at the beginning—that immigration provides an overall net benefit. Although this is true, and to take the hon. Gentleman’s point on board, what such broad statements fail adequately to acknowledge is that the effect of immigration is not uniform across the country, but that it has a differential impact in different areas.

Some of the most rapid changes have been felt in the poorest areas and former industrial areas away from the big urban centres. In my constituency, immigration has had an impact on job security, wages, access to housing and public services, but Parliament has been far too slow to acknowledge and act on those concerns. The danger is that that creates a vacuum and allows myths to flourish.