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Labour manifesto promises to end hostile environment and establish a humane immigration system built on human rights that meets UK’s skills shortages

Summary:

Immigration policies include ending indefinite detention and scrapping the 2014 Immigration Act

Date of Publication:
21 November 2019

Labour manifesto promises to end hostile environment and establish a humane immigration system built on human rights that meets UK's skills shortages

21 November 2019
EIN

Following on from the Liberal Democrats manifesto launch yesterday, today has seen Labour unveil its general election manifesto.

As noted by BBC News, Labour calls its manifesto the "most radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades".

On Brexit, Labour's policy is to negotiate a new deal with the EU and put it to a referendum against the option of remaining in the EU.

On immigration, Labour promises to end the 'hostile environment' and establish a humane immigration system built on human rights and aimed at meeting the skills shortages that exist in the UK.

The party will end immigration indefinite detention, end the minimum income requirement for partner visas, and scrap the 2014 Immigration Act, saying it will not tolerate a two-tier system for those entitled to be here.

It promises that asylum seekers and refugees will be treated humanely by government at all levels and have the right to work and access to public services.

The manifesto also pledges to restore all early legal aid advice, including for immigration cases.

The section on immigration from the Labour manifesto is excerpted below:

______________________________

THE LABOUR PARTY MANIFESTO 2019

[…]

MIGRATION

A Labour government will establish a humane immigration system and end the 'hostile environment' that caused the Windrush scandal of British citizens being deported. Instead, our system will be built on human rights and aimed at meeting the skills and labour shortages that exist in our economy and public services.

Our immigration system must allow us to recruit the people we need, and to welcome them and their families. Our work visa system must fill any skills or labour shortages that arise. The movement of people around the world has enriched our society, our economy and our culture.

We will take decisive action to regulate the labour market to stop the undercutting of wages and conditions, and the exploitation of all workers including migrant workers. It is the actions of bad bosses and successive Conservative governments that have driven down wages and working terms and conditions. Labour will ensure all workers have full and equal rights from day one, with a Real Living Wage for all.

The Conservative policy of pursuing net migration targets has undermined our economy and our public services, refusing entry to essential key workers including nurses. It has created a hostile environment within our communities, encouraged the demonisation of migrants and enabled the callous use of three million residents as bargaining chips in our negotiations over EU withdrawal.

Moreover, the Tories have not once met their own targets. Their migration policies are a complete and damaging failure, whichever way they are looked at.

We will scrap the 2014 Immigration Act introduced by the Tories with their Liberal Democrat coalition partners. We are for a levelling up of rights, not a race to the bottom. We will not tolerate a two-tier system for those entitled to be here.

The Windrush scandal continues to create new victims. We will end its injustices and provide fair compensation to those who have unfairly suffered.

We will end indefinite detention, review the alternatives to the inhumane conditions of detention centres, and close Yarl's Wood and Brook House, from which immediate savings would contribute towards a fund of £20 million to support the survivors of modern slavery, people trafficking and domestic violence. We will ensure justice for migrant domestic workers and restore the overseas domestic workers' visa.

If we remain in the EU, freedom of movement would continue. If we leave, it will be subject to negotiations, but we recognise the social and economic benefits that free movement has brought both in terms of EU citizens here and UK citizens abroad – and we will seek to protect those rights.

In accordance with our values and domestic laws, we will uphold the right to a family life for British, EU and non-EU residents alike. We will end the deportation of family members of people entitled to be here and end the minimum income requirements which separate families.

Refugees

Refugees are victims of wars, environmental catastrophes, famine or persecution.

This government has failed its international legal obligations to refugees and to allow people to exercise their rights to seek asylum.

A Labour government will uphold those rights and meet those obligations. We will work with others to resume rescue missions in the Mediterranean, co-operate with the French authorities to put an end to the horrific camps, and establish safe and legal routes for asylum seekers.

Once here, refugees will have the right to work, access to public services and will be treated humanely by government at all levels.