UK Immigration: Theresa May Downplays PM’s Net Migration Target

On Monday, Home Secretary Theresa May played down the Tories now infamous net migration target announced in 2011 by simply brushing it off as a ‘comment’. This came on the same day David Cameron attended the annual CBI (Confederation of British Industry) conference rejecting claims that an EU referendum would damage the UK economy. Furthermore, stating that he is determined to toughen migration controls, despite the concerns of UK businesses.

CBI President, Mike Rake: 63% of Members believe Migration is Beneficial to their businesses

The Prime Minister, David Cameron’s net migration target seems to be getting more and more unrealistic. The PM’s vow to reduce migration to below 100,00 seems to have been dismissed by Theresa May as just a ‘comment’ and the PM’s spokesperson describing it as an ‘objective’. Whilst speaking to BBC Radio 4, Theresa May stated:

“When we made that comment, when we said … we would be aiming to bring the net migration down to the tens of thousands and we wanted to do that within this parliament – yes we were very clear that was what we wanted to do.”

Those who were confused by May’s comment decided to go straight to No.10 to get clarification on whether the migration target was just a comment or a promise made by the PM. It was Mr Cameron’s official spokesperson who simply stated that ‘there is no change’, further explaining that the target is an objective that the PM and others are currently working on.

A further blow to Mr Cameron’s plan to reducing migration is the strong support shown by UK businesses. CBI represents over 190,000 businesses and Mike Rake the President of the confederation has made it clear that supporting migration into the UK is a priority for businesses:

“63 per cent of CBI members say that it has been beneficial to their businesses; only 1 per cent say it has been negative. And it cuts both ways: approaching 2m Britons live elsewhere in Europe.The economic evidence shows that immigration is of net benefit. EU migrants pay taxes, collect less benefits than British citizens, and many do not settle in the UK permanently.Immigration has been and is part of the solution to the skills shortages faced by the UK.”

PM David Cameron Insists he want to Stay within a Reformed EU

On 10 November 2014, PM David Cameron presented a speech at the CBI conference and made it clear that he does not believe that an EU referendum will destabilize the UK economy. Mr Cameron reminded business leaders in attendance of the time the UK was securing more inward investment than the whole of Europe. Despite his efforts of defending his views on the EU, he insisted that he wanted the UK to stay within a reformed EU that consisted on a common market and co-operation, not an ever-closer union.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg chose to focus on the positive of the UK being part of the EU. He stated:

“We have always been a great trading nation and an open society… there is simply no future for you all, your country if we turn our backs on the world and try and pull up the drawbridge, if we try and wish away the world around us.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband was also in attendance and unsurprisingly disagreed with Mr Cameron’s views, explaining that he believes the more we contemplate leaving the UK the closer we are coming to exiting the EU. Further stating that the future Labour Government will have a  “pro-business agenda”, meaning that they would act in the interest of UK’s business leaders.

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