Immigration Debate in Britain
The recent events in various parts of the world notably increased Islamist radicalization in the west, the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and the increased cases of terrorism in having brought a serious debate on the issues of migration. Britain has been one of the western European countries that have been involved actively in these debates within the political ranks. There has been a serious divide on whether immigration encourages cultural diversity of jeopardizes national security. There have also been concerns among various faction on the transfer of labor through immigration and the way it impacts on the local population. There are genuine concerns over immigration rates in Britain, however, based on the arguments placed forward by various political parties, Britain needs to embrace diversity and become a cultural melting pot so as to compete effectively with the rest of the world.
The Labor Party
In as much as the labor party advocates for the reduction of the number of immigrants to tens of thousands, there is a general consensus about the important role that the immigrants play in the UK in terms of ensuring that there is diversity in the Country. The last labor government under Tony Blair adopted a more open door policy towards immigrants with the aim of achieving cultural diversity within the United Kingdom which led to the largest number of migrants with numbers of migrants in this period alone moving up to 3.6 million people. These huge numbers of immigrants show how highly the labor party valued the immigrant contribution to their economy.
The fact that the last labor government encouraged migration is an indication that the labor party is more inclined towards ensuring diversity of cultures within the UK as well as working with people from different parts of the world for the betterment of the United Kingdom in various aspects including economic growth. In support of immigration, the labor party has always recognized the people from other parts of the world have contributed positively towards the social lives of the British Society.
The labor party I alive to the fact that the Britain alone cannot get enough workers to support and sustain its economic growth so as to compete favorably in the international market, to this extent, immigrant workers are supported by the labor party to join the workforce and continue making the British economic star keep shining in the global arena.
In as much as the Labor party advocates for reforms in immigration, the party has on many occasions indicated that the people from other parts of the world are important for the future of the Britain and in such instances supported adoption of proper control mechanisms as well as management of immigration. This means, the Labor party is not against immigration and does not support immigration without following the due process but rather supports support procedural immigration by lauding the benefits that immigration has brought to the UK.
Labor party has also on many occasion indicated its pride on the diversity of Britain and described the country as an outward-looking country that has allowed people from diverse cultures to contribute positively towards its growth over the years. This is why the party has not called for a total overhaul of the immigration issues but has rather recommended reforms that have emanated from the concerns expressed by people regarding the issues of immigration.
The labor party encourages immigration but is also wary of the safety of the British people. It is on this point of view that the Party recommends stronger controls of the UK borders which are to be boosted by an extra 1000 staff within the border to help in reducing cases of illegal immigration as well as detect criminals before they cross over into the United Kingdom. This move by the labor party is meant to make sure that in as much as Britain opens its doors to immigrants, it is only those immigrants with good intentions and who will contribute positively to the UK economy gets to be admitted into the UK.
The labor party has more often than not associated their support for immigration to securing the future of Britain. This is based on the fact that many of the Native Briton are aging and there is also a large number of retirees. This means that if there is a significant reduction in the number of migrants, there will be no workers of fewer workers to pay taxes and there will be need for people to pay for pension as well as other social services which may, in turn, lead to a scenario where the income tax of the native working class being raised significantly. Therefore, the immigrant workers are an important part of the British economy and they help in sustaining the economy as well as ensuring its competitive advantage in the global arena. The labor party to this extent recognizes the need to have immigrants as they are important for the diversity as well as the growth of the country.
The Conservative Party
The Conservative have in the recent times advocated for the reduction of the number of people moving into the UK from hundreds of the thousand to tens of thousands. The conservative party despite their hardline stands on migration have not ruled out the whole issues of immigration and have not recommended that people are blocked from accessing the UK. They have only made it difficult for people they perceive as undeserving to access the UK.
The Conservative party proposes more stringent measures for people to access benefits as they work in the UK system such as claims on tax credits as well as housing. The Conservative party further seeks to curtail the freedoms that the Countries within the EU have been enjoying in terms of immigration and introduce more strict measures for the people migrating into the UK to enjoy services within the UK.
The Position put forward by the Conservative party is one that is meant to discourage people going to the UK for free benefits. The looks at immigration as something that if not controlled is likely to become a burden to the UK, however, the party does not entirely want to stop foreigners from coming into the UK but rather aims at challenging those people who wish to be admitted into the UK to be ready to earn their place and work hard enough to support themselves rather than expecting free things from the UK government. The Conservative party from its declared position only supports the immigration of people who can contribute positively towards the growth of the UK and therefore has introduced stringent measures to discourage those who the party feels that can be a burden to the UK. The party, however, recognizes that for the country to succeed and compete favorably they must work with immigrants. Cultural diversity, in this case, is an important part of the success in the UK as a nation considering that the vast majority of workers in different sectors are foreigners and these workers are the same people who have propelled the UK to its greatness in the recent times.
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UKIP is concerned with reducing the number of immigrants into the UK, the party is, however, concerned about putting a capping target. The party looks at immigration as something that is of concern but which must be handled by proper institutions. This why the party recommended that there is the need for the establishment of a commission to look into the issues of migration and set some standards and to decide what would inform the issues of immigration in the UK.
UKIP further suggests that the UK adopt that Australian point immigration system in which the people moving to the UK are all expected to meet certain requirements to be admitted as immigrants in the UK. UKIP further suggest that highly skilled workers are given priority in the system since they possess skills that are likely to impact positively on the economy as well as the growth of the UK. To this extent UKIP advocates for up to 50,000 work visas annually.
UKIP is also suggested that there is need to bar unskilled workers from Accessing the UK for at least five years. The Party, however, n different occasions has admitted that if unskilled workers were needed to work on farms in the UK then it would easily let such workers into the UK to help in developing the economy of the country.
The debate on immigration in the UK is one that needs more than just political leaders trying to appeal to their support base but rather should be based on other important factors. The UK in as much as it views immigration as something that could be a threat to the natives in terms of compromising social services, there is a general consensus that the immigrants are important to the UK economic as well as social aspects. All the three parties are in agreement that that cannot to entirely stop immigration but can only control it instance they need the immigrants to help them move their economy forwards. The Diversity of the UK has always put it on the Map with some of the immigrants doing so well in various social fields. A case in point is that of Marathon runner Mo Farah, an immigrant from Somali who has always flown the British flag high in international athletics competitions. This means that cultural diversity is good for Britain in this era of globalization.