CommentIsLinked@LDV: Bridget Fox – 'Labour is ditching its policies through panic not principle'

by Stephen Tall on November 14, 2008

The latest blog of Bridget Fox, Lib Dem PPC for Islington South and Finsbury, is now live over at The Guardian’s website, with thoughts on Remembrance Sunday and Government climbdowns. Read it in full here, but here’s a powerful section on the pernicious ID cards scheme:

In a particularly nasty move, the government is starting compulsory ID cards with the most marginal members of society – migrants from outside the European Union. This is unlikely to put off the desperate, the ignorant and those with nothing to lose. But it will lose us the skills and goodwill of a generation of international workers and students – which will be damaging to Britain’s future in what is turning out to be the global century. It encourages the dangerous view that human rights vary by nationality. And, of course, it won’t stop there: once the foreign guinea pigs have been through the system, the government wants to make it universal.

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The ID card for non-EEA persons who are given permission to reside here for more than a few months is part of an EU wide programme to secure our borders. Yes, it means that you need to book your education place before you take up residence, and, coupled with the need for employers to obey new controls on hiring foreign workers from outside the EU, it means that immigrants have to plan ahead rather than simply turn up. But getting a visitor visa should continue as before, so the would-be immigrant can come and take a look around first. So who is being discriminated against by this particular provision? Surely it has always been the case that non-EEA people can only reside here if they comply with our laws? (I am of course aware of disagreements with govt about some of the detail of the restrictions on immigrants coming here to work, and those who say that its essential, for example, for some chefs to be trained abroad rather than here, must just keep on pressing their case.)

by dreamingspire on November 15, 2008 at 7:34 am. Reply #

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