Jeremy Corbyn does not rule out unskilled migrant visa

31 May

Jeremy Corbyn today did not rule out throwing Britain’s borders open to unskilled immigrants is he is elected on June 8.

He confirmed Labour researchers drew up proposals to introduce a visa for migrants seeking ‘low skilled, unskilled or seasonal work’.

The proposed policy is likely to enrage many of Labour’s traditional working  class voters who would be forced to compete with thousands more foreign workers for unskilled jobs.

Theresa May today said the leak shows that Labour wants ‘uncontrolled migration’. 

Asked directly if he will introduce the visa, Mr Corbyn refused to unequivocally rule it out.

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today at a campaign event in Westminster, refused to rule out introducing a visa to allow unskilled immigrants to come to Britain if he is elected

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today at a campaign event in Westminster, refused to rule out introducing a visa to allow unskilled immigrants to come to Britain if he is elected

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today at a campaign event in Westminster, refused to rule out introducing a visa to allow unskilled immigrants to come to Britain if he is elected

Speaking at a campaign event in Westminster, he said: ‘What you have been reading is a document that was being discussed between researchers in our teams  as happens every day of the week in every party all around parliament.

‘Our policy is in our manifesto, that is the policy we will be carrying out.’ 

He made the comments as he launched a Labour dossier attacking the Tory Party over its record on hospitals and schools.

Speaking in Plymouth today, the PM – who has promised to cut net migration down to the tens of thousands – said the policy shows Labour does not want to cut immigration. 

She said: ‘What we need to do is have proper control of our immigration and, of course, we are going to be able to put in rules for people coming from the EU to the UK once we leave the European Union.

‘There’s a very clear choice at this election, there’s a very clear difference between myself and Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party.

‘I want to ensure we are controlling migration because too high uncontrolled migration puts pressure on our public services but it also lowers wages at the lower end of the income scale.

‘I want to ensure we control migration. Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party want uncontrolled migration.’ 

The Labour leader, pictured at the campaign event today in Westminster, confirmed that Labour researchers had drawn up proposals to open Britain's borders to unskilled immigrants

The Labour leader, pictured at the campaign event today in Westminster, confirmed that Labour researchers had drawn up proposals to open Britain's borders to unskilled immigrants

The Labour leader, pictured at the campaign event today in Westminster, confirmed that Labour researchers had drawn up proposals to open Britain’s borders to unskilled immigrants

Labour’s manifesto pledges to introduce a ‘managed migration’ system which would implement ‘fair immigration rules’ – but it does not give full details on what this will mean  in practice.

The internal Labour policy document, leaked to the Daily Mail, reveals the party is considering introducing a visa for migrants seeking ‘low-skilled, unskilled or seasonal work’.

The document, drawn up this month by Mr Corbyn’s domestic policy adviser, Lachlan Stuart, also proposes axing rules which limit foreign spouses living here unless they can show they will not be a ‘burden’ on the taxpayer.

If implemented, the policy would probably mean many thousands more immigrants a year would come to Britain.

Mr Corbyn has repeatedly refused to promise to cut immigration if he becomes Prime Minister.

Pressed on the issue in a televised election debate on Monday night, Mr Corbyn, said immigration would ‘probably’ come down under Labour, but added: ‘Don’t hold me to that.’ 

The document also says Labour would also relax rules on handling asylum claims if it wins power.  

It reveals that Labour would open ‘tier 3’ of the immigration system to new applicants for the first time. 

This route into Britain, which was one of the five original tiers created by Labour in 2008, was never used because of the huge influx of migrants from Eastern Europe.

Tier 1 visas are for entrepreneurs and business investors, tier 2 for skilled migrants sponsored by UK businesses, tier 4 is student visas and tier 5 offers temporary visas for young people aged 18 to 30. All four are operating.

In March 2013, David Cameron announced tier 3 would be ‘shut down completely’ in a speech in which he questioned why it was even created.

‘There was even, extraordinarily, a tier specifically created for those with no skills at all. Now why would you want to create such a tier?’ he said.

But in Labour’s policy document, a senior official writes: ‘We envisage a requirement to make continued use of the current five-tiered tiered visa system, including the currently unused tier applicable to those seeking low-skilled, unskilled or seasonal work.’

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today, has repeatedly refused to put a cap on the number of immigrants allowed into Britain if he is elected on June 8

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today, has repeatedly refused to put a cap on the number of immigrants allowed into Britain if he is elected on June 8

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today, has repeatedly refused to put a cap on the number of immigrants allowed into Britain if he is elected on June 8

The document also proposes scrapping the means test which limits some family migration. 

Anyone wanting to bring in a spouse or partner from non-EU countries has to meet a before-tax income requirement of £18,600. 

Introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, it was designed to stop wives or husbands becoming a ‘burden on the State’.

The Tories have pledged to increase the minimum amount, but scrapping it entirely could – according to official figures – add between 14,000 and 18,000 a year to migrant numbers. 

The basis of Mr Corbyn’s post-Brexit immigration policy is a green card system. Anyone who successfully applied would have permanent residency rights.

All EU citizens living here would be granted a card and applications would be open to anyone with ‘family connections, a job offer, relevant skills for employment and refugee or asylum status’. 

Mr Corbyn’s advisers admit the proposal would require five entirely new IT systems.

On asylum, the document says: ‘We would overhaul our discredited current system in order to uphold our obligations to those fleeing war and persecution. Immigration is driven more by economic requirements of both migrant and host far more than it is regulated by systems of permit control. The numbers might go up or down but not as a consequence of these changes. We are not setting false, misleading, divisive targets.’ 

EMILY THORNBERRY GAFFE: YOU CAN’T EXPORT FOOD TO AUSTRALIA! 

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary  Emily Thornberry

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary  Emily Thornberry

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary invited ridicule yesterday by saying Britain’s food industry will struggle to export to Australia post-Brexit because its products ‘will go off’.

Emily Thornberry voiced concerns over how the UK will forge new trade links with major Commonwealth countries once it leaves the European single market and customs union.

She said farmers might struggle to export to nations beyond the EU because of the much longer distances involved, telling a hustings: ‘We need to be hard-headed about this. The truth is the majority of our trade takes place with the European Union. And things like our food industry, you can’t export it to Australia – it will go off.’

But food is routinely exported from one end of the world to the other.

Tory candidate Neil Parish said: ‘These comments would be funny, but it is no laughing matter that Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry could be negotiating Brexit just 11 days after polling day. If they don’t think we can export food around the world, they would make an absolute meal of the Brexit negotiations.’

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