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[2nd Allotted Day]

Part of Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) – in the House of Commons at 2:03 pm on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary 2:03 pm, 5th December 2018

I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention. If Members talk to younger people, they will hear that one of their biggest doubts about Brexit is that they do not welcome the idea that they will not be able to travel, work and study in the way they have done under our membership of the EU.

Then there is the question of the missing immigration White Paper. The Home Secretary said he did not want to rush to produce it. I remind the House that we were originally promised it in summer 2017, then the Government were going to produce it this February, then it was to be published in March, before the recess, then in July, and then after the Migration Advisory Committee report in October; now the Home Secretary assures us it will be published “soon”. What confidence can anyone have in post-Brexit immigration policy when Ministers still do not seem to know what they want—or, more to the point, cannot agree on what they want? How can the House be expected to vote on this deal without detail on proposed immigration policy?

We know that the Tories are stealing some of Labour’s terminology about a rational immigration system based on our economic needs, but I suspect that Ministers mean something very different. On this issue, Government rhetoric sounding like Labour is a very insincere form of flattery. The suspicion must be that the Government’s actual policy is to begin to treat EU migrants as badly as they have treated non-EU migrants over many years.