Freedom Alliance Immigration Policy

Introduction

We recognise that immigration is a complex and multifaceted process, as well as being an emotive issue evoking heated arguments from all sides of the political spectrum. Therefore it is crucial in formulating policy to take a level-headed examination of the issues. This issue must also be seen in context of global economic inequality and UK participation in foreign armed conflicts – both of which are opposed by Freedom Alliance.

In keeping with our core values as a party, we recognise the desires of individuals to move and work freely, and of employers and organisations to avail themselves of the best talent – although we must be wary of encouraging a ‘brain-drain’ from developing countries. We therefore feel it is unhelpful to lump all immigration into a single category or to consider all immigration to be unequivocally harmful. We also feel that, in the interests of minimising bureaucracy and unnecessary barriers and protecting individuals from harm, a flexible approach to the issues is desirable in an ever-changing world.

However, we also recognise that completely open borders are not practical; the United Kingdom has finite resources in terms of the numbers that can be accommodated. We fully acknowledge the concerns of communities experiencing pressure on jobs and public services, or where the character of neighbourhoods has changed within a generation. We feel it is unhelpful in such circumstances to simply brand ordinary people who voice their concerns as bigots, as when ex-premier Gordon Brown was reportedly caught on microphone calling an English pensioner “that bigoted woman”. While a small minority of the public may consider immigration in simplistic racist terms, we believe that most people’s views on immigration are more nuanced and multifaceted.

Furthermore, as a party we strongly reject politically motivated immigration policies of governments, international bodies, and other supranational actors. We believe there is evidence of a co-ordinated effort to break down established community ties and import into the West a new voter base without the traditional values of, or loyalties to, the neighbourhoods, towns, or countries in which they live, thus creating a population apathetic to the relentless march of globalism. Traditional communities therefore feel disenfranchised and imposed upon.

This policy discussion document therefore seeks to set out the issues and make a set of proposals which we believe take a firm but fair approach, balancing the desires and needs of individuals with those of the wider community and the United Kingdom as a whole.

Population density and growth

Currently, the population density of the United Kingdom is approximately 720 people per square mile (277 per square kilometre), making it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Not only is the United Kingdom a populous nation for a small group of islands, but in recent years this figure has increased dramatically.  In 1997, the official British population figure was 58 million. Today, this figure has risen to an official figure of nearly 68 million.

Figures suggest that much of this increasing population density and growth in recent years has been driven by migration. According to data published by the Office for National Statistics and Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, net immigration is responsible for more than half of the United Kingdom’s population growth. One report even suggested that 80% of the UK population growth between 2000 and 2016 was due to immigrants and births to immigrants.

Historically, net migration into the United Kingdom was negligible. In the 1950s, some 25,000 immigrants arrived in the United Kingdom per annum. Since 1997, immigration under subsequent UK governments has caused this low and sustainable number to increase on an unprecedented scale. Nearly seven million immigrants came to the UK during the Blair and Brown administrations, and despite Cameron’s promise to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands, a further two million arrived during the Coalition years. Net immigration during the Conservative government years was over 5.5 million from 2015 to 2022. To put these figures into perspective, this is equivalent to the population of a city the size of Birmingham every five years. For entirely pragmatic reasons, we must question the point at which such sheer numbers become untenable.

This document now sets out some of the key areas to be addressed:

Pressure on housing and public services

We believe that our present standard of living will be difficult to maintain with continued current levels of net migration. The sheer weight of numbers and rising birth rates, particularly due to immigrant mothers, has placed pressure on public services. Waiting time to see a GP or be treated in hospital has increased and demand outstrips supply for housing. There is pressure on school places and heavy demands on teacher and support worker time, e.g. requiring extensive English language support. The UK cannot operate basic services without, at the very least, knowing the numbers that require to be catered for.

Employment and exploitation

The public feels strongly that immigrants need to contribute to our economy. There are concerns around wage compression and job losses with most harm caused to the traditional working class. Illegal immigrants are disappearing into the “black economy”, getting exploited, subjected to modern slavery or forced into sex work, some by gangsters with links to organised crime in their countries of origin.

Assimilation and cultural values

Many migrants arrive from authoritarian cultures who hold our Western libertarian values, such as freedom and equality, in contempt. Some may welcome the liberty they find here but others may not respect our social norms – having different attitudes especially towards womens and children (sham and forced marriages, barbarisms such as child marriage, “honour” killings and FGM) – and may show contempt for our historic ties to places, cultural symbols, etc. This category includes radical hate preachers.

Crime and terrorism

The UK lacks full control over its immigration policy – there are difficulties in removing even those with criminal records and proven links to extremist groups overseas. The final right of appeal should remain within UK jurisdiction.

Current UK government solutions

The Government has in the past gone for easy targets, e.g. the hard-working Windrush generation who appreciate and share our values and aspirations. The Rwanda scheme has not worked, seems unworkable, does not solve the problem of criminality (as criminal immigrants get sent back to the UK) and has provoked an outcry over human rights concerns. Payments to France have not worked and neither has the barge scheme. Putting migrants in holiday camps/ hotels is damaging to the tourist industry. Leaving the ECHR (as human rights often invoked by activist judiciary to frustrate deportation) is seen as retrogressive by the liberal-minded and also impacts on the recognition of HR of the UK public.

Policy proposals for legal migration

We do not wish to damage the ability of UK employers to attract the top talent they need to boost the economy. Therefore we propose:

Policy proposals for illegal migration

We recognise that the UK’s generous welfare system creates a strong incentive.  Migrants being offered accommodation and benefits, without first paying in, causes the UK public justified resentment. Therefore we propose: