Jacqui Smith hinted yesterday at new curbs on the rights of immigrant workers to bring their families into Britain. The Home Secretary suggested that families may be kept out unless wives and other dependants are prepared to work. The prospect of restrictions on immigration by families came as Miss Smith launched her high-profile tightening of immigration rules, which she says will ‘raise the bar’ on immigration from outside the EU.
Miss Smith echoed Gordon Brown’s controversial promise of ‘British jobs for British workers’, saying the changes were based ‘on a judgment about what is best for the British economy, for British workers.’ Her new rules are expected to cut the number of migrants coming to Britain under the new points-based work permit system by more than 12 per cent. Last year a record number of work permits, 151,000, were handed out. The latest move comes amid deepening tension over scarce jobs going to foreign workers and follows the wave of wildcat strikes over the employment of foreign workers at the Lindsey oil refinery in Lincolnshire.
Ho hum. A British source tells me that “Nu-Labour is starting to get rattled by the latest successes of the BNP – they know they are toast at the next election!” So I doubt the sincerity of Jacqui Smith’s new found interest in curtailing immigration in any reasonable, logical fashion, this is nothing more than an empty attempt to draw voters away from other immigration critical parties. KGS