By MP John Hayes
Britain now has the fastest growing economy in the advanced world, with GDP up 3.1 per cent on the same period for last year, prompting the IMF to upgrade its forecast for 2014.
As the economic recovery gains pace and strength, employment is soaring to record highs with, contrary to the smears of those who claim to be patriots but always talk Britain down, 90 per cent of the new jobs created last year going to British citizens.
This welcome news allows us to think further about the link between growing employment and immigration.
Newcomers who bring vital skills and knowledge to our country have always been made welcome. However under the previous Government 2.5 million more people came to the UK than left; the highest rate of migration in this country’s modern history.
We, the British people, were not consulted about this – and when sensible objections were raised they were dismissed or ignored. Britain was even sending out “search parties” (in the words of Peter Mandelson) for people to come here whilst the country had in excess of five million people on out-of-work benefits.
Now, because of the decisiveness of this Government, Britons that don’t want to work are no longer able to live a life on benefits, letting immigrants do the jobs they won’t.
And with these people knowing that they have to work, the need for migrants is bound to decline further. Britain’s future chance to succeed is as a high tech, high skilled nation and with no need to import the unskilled from beyond Europe.
The Prime Minister spoke for the silent majority when he said Britain’s “increasingly generous, no-questions-asked welfare system drew migrants here for the wrong reasons”.
That’s why the Government has reformed the rules so that no one can claim out-of-work benefits as soon they arrive, and those who later can claim are entitled to them for just three months. The message is clear; people cannot come to Britain and get something for nothing.
The unfair practise of recruitment and employment agencies advertising for jobs in the EU without giving British workers a chance to apply for the vacancies has been banned. These agencies are now legally required to advertise in English in the UK. And let’s be clear; those who come here must speak our language and adapt to our culture. Integration is not an option, it is an expectation.
We’ve also made it easier to remove illegal immigrants, with an emphasis on “deport now, appeal later”.
Border controls have been toughened, thousands of driving licenses of people here illegally have been revoked, and landlords are now legally required to check the immigration status of their tenants. Over 750 bogus colleges – a sinister conduit for illegal immigration – have been shut, and colleges where 10 per cent of applicants are refused visas will lose their licence altogether.
As Britain is restored to economic health, and the Government’s welfare reforms ending dependency and incentivising work, it is right that we also have an immigration system that is fair and fit for purpose.
An immigration policy which puts British people first.