Today the Prime Minister set out a fair and balanced cross-government immigration system that favours people who work hard and aspire to get on in life.
While we have always believed in the benefits of immigration, we have also always believed that immigration has to be properly controlled. Under Labour this simply wasn’t the case. Immigration was far too high and badly out of control. Net migration needs to come down radically from hundreds of thousands a year to just tens of thousands.
But as we bring net migration down we must also make sure that Britain continues to benefit from it. That means ensuring that those who do come here are the brightest and the best the people we really need with the skills and entrepreneurial talent to create the British jobs and growth that will help us to win in the global race. It also means ensuring that the system is fair so that we support the aspirations of hard-working people who want to get on in life. This is about building that aspiration nation we have been talking about.
The Government will make sure that everyone who comes here pays their way and gives something back by:
· stopping our benefits system from being such a ‘soft touch’;
· making entitlement to our key public services something migrants earn – not an automatic right; and
· bringing the full force of government together to crack down on illegal working.