Cross-party MPs condemn “draconian” Leave Means Leave migration report

Cross-party MPs from the Open Britain campaign today (Sunday) condemn the new immigration report from the ‘Leave Means Leave’ group, which is reported in the Sunday Times.

They say its proposals, if carried out by the Government, would cause skills shortages which would damage British business and our NHS, and would undermine the “traditional spirit of British tolerance.” 

Anna Soubry MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“Increasingly, people are recognising the huge value of migrant workers to our country and that leaving the EU will not reduce the numbers. That’s because we still need people from the EU and other parts of the world to come to Britain and help make our economy even stronger. 

“We have seen encouraging signs from the Prime Minister that she accepts and understands the reality facing British business – they will continue to need overseas workers for years to come.

“Migrant workers contribute to our economy and to British culture – we should be welcoming them in the traditional spirit of British tolerance. Leave means Leave clearly don’t understand why British business relies on migrant workers.”

Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said: 

“Even after the UK leaves the European Union, our country will still need the energy, drive and commitment that immigrants from Europe and around the world bring to Britain. 

“The Prime Minister faces a choice. To go down the road advocated by this kind of plan, or to take a more realistic and honest approach to the Brexit negotiations on immigration and other matters. 

“In recent days Ministers have made some encouraging noises about realising the time this will take, that there will be some kind of transition period, and that we will continue to need immigration from inside and outside the EU. They would be better continuing with that path and levelling with the public rather than giving in to the more ideological calls from some in this debate.” 

Norman Lamb MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“Our NHS, which is already undergoing great strain, would collapse without the hard work of the tens of thousands of migrants who work in it. We should be celebrating their work, not plotting new ways to make it harder for them to come here.

“A crackdown on immigration would mean fewer doctors and nurses in our hospitals, a crisis in general practice, and fewer staff in the care homes looking after our ageing population. With the NHS already facing a shortfall of 42,000 nurses, and record numbers of GP practices shutting down, a migration crackdown is the last thing we need. 

“We need an immigration system that gives our NHS the skills it needs; not a draconian cut in numbers that would make British patients worse off.” 

/ends

Notes to editors:

The Leave Means Leave story is here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/top-tories-demand-freeze-on-migrants-gmgc8nw7b