Monday, January 31, 2005

Tony Blair and immigration

The British public believes that illegal immigration is out of control:

MINISTERS are set to announce tough rules for ‘managed migration’ in response to escalating public fears that the system is out of control.

Deportation of thousands of asylum seekers whose claims have failed will be a top priority. Ministers are also expected to adopt an Australian-style points system for economic migrants, where applicants are awarded points on the basis of their education, work experience, age and ability to speak English.

Labour will effectively be stealing the march on the Conservatives with such a move but Tony Blair personally backs a tougher stance, recognising it will go down well with voters. Mr Blair’s intervention comes as a poll by CommunicateResearch showed that two-fifths of voters would be swayed on which party to support by the issue.

Most of the respondents to the Independent on Sunday poll - 71 per cent - did not believe the government had illegal immigration under control. Alarmingly for Labour, three out of five of the party’s supporters also believed the system was in chaos.

Just over four in ten of the 1,008 voters interviewed said that the issue of immigration would affect how they voted.

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