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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 3:06 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Conservative, Peterborough 3:06 pm, 13th October 2015

No, I do not have the time, and you are looking at me in an admonishing way, Madam Deputy Speaker. May I just say two things? If I were to bring out my inner Marxist, I would say that of course big business, such as that represented by the Institute of Directors, wants to continue to import low-paid workers to drive down costs—bears do their ablutions in the wood, the Pope is still Catholic, and big business always wants people to come into this country and outprice indigenous workers—but would that big business concentrated more on apprenticeships, long-term planning and training.

Finally, let me say that I wish the Prime Minister well in his work towards finding a settlement in his negotiations with the European Union, but it is massively important that the centrality of the free movement directive is at the heart of it. I tell the House that pocket-book issues—people’s jobs and future, and prosperity and growth—are important, but if people feel that there will ultimately be an irrevocable cultural change in their country that they can do nothing about, they will vote to leave the European Union. He must be very mindful of that.

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for your indulgence. We have a lot to be proud of in this country in relation to the work we have done for genuine asylum seekers, as a beacon of hope across the world and as the No. 1 country in the world for soft power, but that is not the same as tacitly agreeing with, doing nothing about and turning a blind eye to illegal immigration. This is a good Bill that is long overdue. It is supported by my constituents and the British people. I wish it well, and I will support it enthusiastically tonight.

Several hon. Members rose