Call disingenuous and populist 5th July 2011: Reacting to Iain Duncan Smith’s call for tougher immigration controls, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has asserted that it misses the point and stokes nationalism.
The JCWI said: `The Coalition Government is determined to introduce the market into every quarter of society. It continues the work by the last government to use market forces to regulate immigration.
Migration within the EU, as business leaders have repeatedly said, fills skills gaps. When the market demands cheaper skilled workers, the market will find a way of getting them, when it needs more highly paid skilled professionals it will also get them, whether through outsourcing work to the Asian sub-continent or by importing skilled Eastern Europeans to come and work in the UK’.
Chief Exec of JCWI Habib Rahman added: “IDS issues a disingenuous and populist call for tighter immigration laws, when his perceived problem is from an area the UK government is powerless to affect; EU immigration.
“No one would oppose the idea of training for young Britons, and we would welcome that boost to people’s life chances. However, the UK government cannot prevent Eastern Europeans coming to the UK to seek work anymore than it can prevent UK citizens retiring to the Costa del Sol. Once that genie is let out of its bottle – it proves very difficult to put back.”
Only recently, the Work and Pensions Secretary, Smith, had revealed a growing Coalition split over immigration by initiating an outspoken attack on Lib Dem attempts to block tougher border controls.
In a plea to David Cameron not to break the Tory promise to bring immigration under control, the Secretary warned that any failure to reduce the number of newcomers settling in Britain every year will destroy his drive to repair the welfare benefits system.
He made clear that controlling immigration is part of the Government’s “contract with the British people”.