This Is Local LondonRows hinder immigration curbs - May (From This Is Local London)

Report news now! Text pictures & video to 80360, starting message with WITNESS then leave a space

Rows hinder immigration curbs - May

This Is Local London: Theresa May has admitted the PM's aim of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands "has become more difficult" Theresa May has admitted the PM's aim of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands "has become more difficult"

Home Secretary Theresa May said coalition rows were holding back efforts to cut immigration as she indicated further curbs were under discussion.

Deporting EU nationals who are not working and halving the length of time others can claim benefits are among proposals on the table, she said.

She spoke out about "heated" rows with Liberal Democrat colleagues as the mainstream parties sought to beef up their stance to counter the growing electoral threat from Ukip.

She conceded that David Cameron's aim of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands "has become more difficult" after official figures showed the number was still going up.

"We still have that aim of the tens of thousands. But of course it has become more difficult and net migration is too high," she told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.

"That's why I want to continue working to bring it down.

"In those areas we can control - that is, immigration from outside the European Union - everything we have done as a Government has been having an impact."

She confirmed a report in the Sunday Telegraph that deporting people who exercised the right to come to the UK to work but could not find a job was among measures being considered.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the Sunday Times he wanted to introduce new laws this year to restrict benefit claims to three months.

The length of time EU migrants must wait before claiming has already been extended from three months to six, with the Tories and Labour indicating that period could be made longer still.

"You'll have to wait three months and you'll only be able to claim for three months. Then it's bye-bye. That's quite a significant tightening up," Mr Duncan Smith said.

Mrs May told the BBC: "We have been looking at various measures and we will continue to look at measures."

Asked about Mr Duncan Smith's plans, she said: "We will look at that timing.

"We haven't yet got agreement across the coalition to do that. But these are the sorts of measures we keep looking at because in immigration you can never stand still."

She went on: "It is no surprise to anybody that there have been some long-standing, possibly heated at times, discussions among the coalition on some of these issues of immigration."

Official figures, released on the day voters went to the polls in local and European elections after a campaign dominated by immigration, showed another significant jump in immigration to the UK from within the European Union.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said net migration increased to 212,000 in the year to December, from 177,000 the previous year.

This was driven by a "statistically significant" increase in EU citizens immigrating to Britain, which the Government has little power to control, from 158,000 to 201,000 year-on-year.

Asked whether the "tens of thousands" had not been a "pledge" by the Prime Minister, Mrs May said: "It has always been a target for us to drive towards that."

Shadow immigration minister David Hanson said the proposals reportedly under discussion were "m ore headline chasing but less effective action from the Tories on immigration".

He added: "David Cameron and Theresa May's last immigration Bill was a complete car crash with Government ministers abstaining on their own policies.

"Having lost so many votes and seats on Thursday while his net migration target is failing badly, David Cameron is clearly rushing for more headlines before he has a policy in place.

"We've been calling for over two years for the Government to act to stop employers exploiting immigration to undercut wages and jobs.

"Yet the Tories and Liberal Democrats voted against our proposals. These sketchy new suggestions don't go far enough to address the impact on wages and jobs.

"We need stronger border controls, action to make serious exploitation a criminal offence, tougher fines and enforcement, and also to remove students from the net migration target.

"We must move to a credible immigration working for everyone but all this Government is interested in is the next headline."

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "David Cameron and Theresa May promised 'no ifs, no buts' they would cut net migration to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament.

"Yet four years into the Parliament the figures have been going up not down, and it is currently more than double their target.

"For the Home Secretary to keep making big pledges and failing to meet them undermines trust in the whole immigration system.

"Having lost so many votes and seats while their net migration target is failing badly, the Tories seem to be rushing for more headlines before they have policies worked out.

"Instead they should accept the practical policies we have put forward over the last two years to strengthen border control, tackle the impact of immigration on wages and jobs, reform EU controls, and replace the net migration target with a smarter system.

"Immigration is important for Britain and that's why it needs to be properly controlled and managed. Public concern about immigration is considerable. That's why we need sensible, fair policies, not just rhetoric, headlines and more failed targets."

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:55am Sun 25 May 14

Chippy70 says...

The time is long past when we should have closed the door completely. Stating for at least 5 yrs it stays shut until we round up and deport all the illegals and overstayers and all those that simply dont contribute to or enhance our country.
After that have strictly controlled borders, allowing in only the people we feel will integrate and have a bond of say £30,000 to be used for NHS treatment, schooling and other ameeneties...this bond can also be used to cover the cost of immediate deportation of any immigrant breaking our laws.
The time is long past when we should have closed the door completely. Stating for at least 5 yrs it stays shut until we round up and deport all the illegals and overstayers and all those that simply dont contribute to or enhance our country. After that have strictly controlled borders, allowing in only the people we feel will integrate and have a bond of say £30,000 to be used for NHS treatment, schooling and other ameeneties...this bond can also be used to cover the cost of immediate deportation of any immigrant breaking our laws. Chippy70
  • Score: 4

2:17pm Sun 25 May 14

welshmen says...

Well said chippy, all we have to do now is encourage millions of British voters to change parties and vote for this....
Well said chippy, all we have to do now is encourage millions of British voters to change parties and vote for this.... welshmen
  • Score: 1

3:08pm Sun 25 May 14

northern pig says...

Theresa May is pi&&ing in the wind (if women can do that) we are part of the EEC,there is no way that legislation will change.The problem is our generous benefits culture it's a magnet for economic migrants and as been for years.Ten years of labour government with their open borders policy as not helped.I am afraid that the stable door is being closed,after the horse as bolted!!
Theresa May is pi&&ing in the wind (if women can do that) we are part of the EEC,there is no way that legislation will change.The problem is our generous benefits culture it's a magnet for economic migrants and as been for years.Ten years of labour government with their open borders policy as not helped.I am afraid that the stable door is being closed,after the horse as bolted!! northern pig
  • Score: 1

6:34pm Sun 25 May 14

bmoc55 says...

The Conservatives are hobbled by the lunacy of Clegg and his Lib Dem whimps who have no backbone and bend with the wind.
There is no chance of stopping the EU immigrants swamping us in the UK unless Cameron can negotiate better terms with the EU.

Miliband and Clegg are weak leaders and their respective MP's will not allow discussion on restrictions. UKIP can make noises in Brussels but they won't have real clout.

Cameron is our only hope.
The Conservatives are hobbled by the lunacy of Clegg and his Lib Dem whimps who have no backbone and bend with the wind. There is no chance of stopping the EU immigrants swamping us in the UK unless Cameron can negotiate better terms with the EU. Miliband and Clegg are weak leaders and their respective MP's will not allow discussion on restrictions. UKIP can make noises in Brussels but they won't have real clout. Cameron is our only hope. bmoc55
  • Score: 2

6:57pm Sun 25 May 14

mixxer says...

"Cameron is our only hope."

Well, if that's the case we're well and truly b#gg#red!
"Cameron is our only hope." Well, if that's the case we're well and truly b#gg#red! mixxer
  • Score: -2

7:35pm Sun 25 May 14

cosmick says...

If CAMERON was to give us any hope he needed to shut borders 31st dec last year.
If CAMERON was to give us any hope he needed to shut borders 31st dec last year. cosmick
  • Score: -1
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree