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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 4:03 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Conservative, North West Norfolk 4:03 pm, 13th October 2015

It is a great pleasure to follow Ian Austin, who is the voice of reason in his party. It is also a pleasure to follow my hon. Friends the Members for Peterborough (Mr Jackson), for Folkestone and Hythe (Damian Collins) and for Castle Point (Rebecca Harris), as well as the Father of the House, Sir Gerald Kaufman, who gave one of his inimitable performances a few minutes ago. It is always a pleasure to hear what he has to say.

The Home Secretary made a candid and honest speech the other day. I do not believe that there is anything controversial in stating that every sovereign state should be the sole judge and arbiter of the level of immigration that can be sensibly absorbed and taken care of. The only way effectively to analyse this question is to examine the integration of the migrant communities into Britain and to look at their impact on essential services such as schools, housing and the NHS. Her conclusions were in line with the view expressed by the vast majority of people in this country—that the current levels of migration are totally unsustainable. That is why the UK must address the challenge of completely regaining control of its borders. That means carrying on the policy of strict controls on non-EU migration, but this must be in

the national interest—I wish to say something about the nursing profession in a moment. It also must mean Britain looking again at the EU principle of the free movement of people across Europe. I feel that strongly. To my mind, it will be one of the red lines that will come up in the future referendum, and I say that as someone who wants to have reasons for voting to stay in Europe, if at all possible.