Lord Carey joins cross-party call for overhaul of British immigration policy
by David Williamson
Sep 9 2008
THE former Archbishop of Canterbury has called for an overhaul of Britains immigration policies.
Lord Carey has joined a cross-party group of peers and MPs led by Labours Frank Field and the Conservatives Nicholas Soames demanding balanced migration.
They want a limit on the number of people permitted to live permanently in Britain, so the population of the UK will stabilise at 65 million.
Lord Carey, who has a home on Gower, insisted immigration had been a blessing to the country, saying: We are simply saying we have got to have a policy that works.
The group wants the number of people permanently entering Britain roughly to equal the number leaving.
Its launch yesterday coincided with the publication of a YouGov poll commissioned by think-tank Migrationwatch UK which found that among ethnic minority voters, 75% thought immigration should be cut, with 36% backing balanced migration and 39% wanting even tougher limits.
Lord Carey told the Western Mail that if Britain lacked an effective migration policy right-wing parties would exploit public resentment.
He is also concerned that ghettos are forming in cities.
But Saleem Kidwai, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Wales, rejected the groups call that those permitted to work in Britain should be able to stay for four years only.
He said: The vast majority, we feel, make a great contribution. If they are working here, that means they are needed here.
If they are working here, why restrict their contribution? If they have a job after four years, why shouldnt they continue it?
Only 2% of migrants to the UK between 1993 and 2006 have settled in Wales.
A sharp cut in immigration is backed by 81% of Labour voters, 83% of Liberal Democrats and 89% of Conservatives.
Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: Our tough new points system plus our plans for newcomers to earn their citizenship will reduce overall numbers of economic migrants coming to Britain, and the numbers awarded permanent settlement.
Crucially the points system means only the migrants with the skills Britain needs can come and no more. Unlike made-up quotas, this stops government cutting business off from the skills it needs when they need them.
Weve asked the new, independent Migration Advisory Committee to make sure we hear common sense on the new rules.
Were looking forward to their report on where we need migrants and where we dont before the points system goes live in under three months time.