Sir Keir Starmer announces plans to lower legal migration | Politics News

Labour has announced its plans to reduce net migration – with Sir Keir Starmer accusing the Conservatives of having “repeatedly broken their promises” to get the number down.

It marks another attempt by the Labour Party to appeal to Conservative voters.

Figures published after Rishi Sunak called the general election showed a net of 685,000 arrived in the UK last year – down from a record of 764,000 in 2022.

General election latest: ‘Ridiculous’ to say NEC is independent

The 2023 figure is still three times the number in 2019 when the last election took place. The Conservatives promised in their manifesto that year to get net migration down.

In 2012, when the data from the Office for National Statistics starts, net migration was just under 200,000.

Sir Keir said he wanted to see any government he leads ban “the practices employed by businesses who exploit the migration system by illegally undercutting working conditions”.

The announcement tonight mirrors policies proposed by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper in November last year, and some bear similarities to current government objectives.

Sir Keir added: “With Labour, Britain will be less reliant on migration by training more UK workers.

“The Tories have repeatedly broken their promises to bring down net migration. Since 2010, they have published four manifestos promising to bring down net migration.”

The Labour leader said he wants to compel parts of Whitehall to cooperate so “migration triggers a plan to train UK workers and improve jobs”.

Labour is trying to outflank the Conservatives on migration. Pic: Reuters

Employment sectors like health and construction that have been reliant on migration to fill “skill gaps” will be made to draw up workforce plans, with another pledge to reform the points-based migration system.

The aim, according to Labour, is to “fire up skills training rather than look overseas”.

One pledge is to ban employers and agencies that break employment law from hiring overseas workers.

Another is to stop the “workplace exploitation” of foreign workers being used to undercut wages.

Some in the Conservative Party have claimed Labour are rebranding policies the government has already enacted.

The government previously pledged to increase the threshold on salaries required for visas, and pledged to scrap “cut-price shortage labour from overseas” by scrapping discounts to visa salary requirements for those in short-staffed sectors.

Those employers looking to get on the shortage occupation list have to show they are also training domestic workers.

Conservative candidate Jonathan Gullis tweeted that “nobody buys” Sir Keir’s plans.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

๐Ÿ‘‰ Tap here to follow Politics at Jack at Sam’s wherever you get your podcasts ๐Ÿ‘ˆ

A spokesperson for Reform UK, which is campaigning heavily on reducing immigration, said: “Sir Keir’s first suggestion is to prosecute a law that already exists about illegally paying below minimum wage, the other is a pious wish.

“Labours offer is nothing new and will make no difference. If you want to make a change, Vote Reform to freeze immigration.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl