Clegg on immigration: Labour has failed

by Stephen Tall on July 25, 2007

The Government’s revelation that 2.5 million foreigners have moved to the UK in the past five years has drawn this response from Lib Dem shadow home secretary Nick Clegg:

“Whilst these figures do not show how many of these workers have already returned home, they certainly confirm that the numbers are considerably higher than the Government first estimated.

“A liberal open immigration policy only makes sense if you also plan for its consequences. It is clear that the Government has failed to plan adequately both in terms of housing and funding for local services.

“It should be remembered, however, that people are only coming to Britain because they are successfully providing services and doing jobs available in the British economy to the benefit of British consumers.”

Personally, I’d prefer Nick had made his final point first. Still, this is a welcome re-affirmation of the Lib Dems’ properly liberal approach to the issues of both asylum and immigration. Labour talks tough, but makes a mess of the whole system; while the Tory party is still unsure whether to follow its instincts or its leader.