Coffee House

Exclusive: Leading Tory eurosceptic calls for Cameron to ditch net migration target

20 May 2014

2:57 PM

20 May 2014

2:57 PM

The next set of net migration figures are, conveniently, released on the day of the European and local elections. Some wonder whether this will add grist to the mill of those on the Tory Right who want to cause trouble for Cameron as they can demand that he crack down further on immigration. But I’ve discovered that if there is one demand eurosceptics will make, it will be for the Prime Minister to scrap the target, rather than try harder to meet it.

The reasoning behind this is that the Prime Minister could argue that freedom of movement in the European Union makes it impossible for the Conservatives to have any real chance of meeting this target, save by introducing ever-tougher restrictions on non-EU immigration. Cameron could use this as evidence to support his call for reform of freedom of movement in the EU, and therefore as evidence that voters should back the Conservatives as the only party offering renegotiation and reform in Europe and a referendum.

[Alt-Text]


John Baron, the eurosceptic MP whose work over the past few years has led to that referendum promise, tells me:

‘Given that the Freedom of Movement measures mean there is little that can be done to reduce a large component of our annual immigration levels, an overall target is perhaps moot. This underlines the importance of the Prime Minister’s sensible policy of re-negotiation with the EU on this and a range of other issues.’

Mark Field has previously criticised the target as part of his Conservatives for Managed Migration campaign, but this is the first mainstream eurosceptic call for the target to be ditched. Baron’s colleague Mark Pritchard says similar, telling Coffee House:

‘Target or not, it’s getting the numbers down that counts and the numbers up for those sector skills the UK needs.’

Only last week the Prime Minister recommitted himself to that target, saying he felt it was ‘achievable’. But here is an attempt by eurosceptic MPs who haven’t always made his life easy in the past to help him out with a target that he must know deep down will only be met by a stroke of good luck or a wonky immigration policy.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • LindaRivera

    The power-hungry EU is destroying Britain and Europe! Our small nations have been CRIMINALLY over-populated with many millions, mostly muslims who openly declare their goal is our conquest and enslavement under barbaric sharia law where non-muslims have NO human rights! POPULATION REPLACEMENT is FORBIDDEN by INTERNATIONAL LAW!

    Our leaders colonised our TINY island with millions of mostly muslims who come from HUGE countries. There is not enough land, water, farms, homes, schools and hospitals for ALL these immigrants and their huge families and THEIR future massive numbers of descendants! But it is OUR indigenous people who suffer! The social housing and benefits that were created only for OUR people when in need are massively GIVEN AWAY to immigrants! Whilst 9,000 homeless vets and other desperate, homeless, despised British infidels live on the streets, DENIED HELP!

    Vote for patriotic, counter-jihad political party Liberty GB https://www.facebook.com/LibertyGBParty The party that cares about our people! The ONLY party with the courage to warn about what a muslim majority will create in Britain! Join! Vote for Liberty GB in the South East!

    Paul Weston in Croydon: It’s Not Racist to Defend Your Country
    http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/index.php/home/root/news-libertygb/5798-paul-weston-in-croydon-it-s-not-racist-to-defend-your-country

  • Richard N

    Journalists have been writing about ‘eurosceptic Tory MPs’ for at least 40 years now – during which time the Tory party has signed every EU Treaty put in front of it, surrendering our country to the EU.

    There are no genuine ‘eurosceptic Tory MPs’: there are just a bunch of fake-eurosceptic Tory MPs, kept there to delude people into thinking there is something eurosceptic about the Tory party – whereas in fact, it is just as 100% obediently pro-EU other EU Quisling parties.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, the “eurosceptics” are basically stalking horses for the quislings.

  • Richard N

    People have got to understand that though they have to PRETEND to be trying to cut down immigration, liblabcon have since Blair’s time been under the strictest orders to EXPAND immigration from 3rd world countries to the maximum possible that the country will tolerate – every year, year after year.

    Why? Because the EU know that the biggest threat to their existence is that a nation will rise up against them, and demand to leave the EU.

    Solution? Destroy the nation states of Europe, and their sense of national identity, but flooding Europe with so many millions of non-European immigrants that every country will lose its sense of national identity.

    And destroy European culture and everything wonderful about Europe at the same time?

    Who gives a damn. The EU is talking about its SURVIVAL, and completing its single state new Soviet Union in Europe. Beside that, nothing else matters.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes. Stalin did it with forced relocations. The EUSSR isn’t doing it at gunpoint, but it’s doing it

  • chris_xxxx

    Another broken promise. The only way to control immigration from the EU, is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, instructing the organisation that you intend to leave and to negotiate the exit.

    Freedom of movement within the EU, is a fundamental right, and to expect 27 countries, especially the A8 East European ones, to remove this is ridiculous.

    Vote UKIP.

    • PaderB

      The invocation of Article 50 must be followed immediately by the repeal of the European Communities Act of 1972. Nothing else will be effective. To not repeal the Act will leave us in the EU for a further 2 years, suffering all of the financial cost and subject to all European Law. Worst of all, we will be subjected to two years of concerted brow-beating by the EU to have another referendum as occurred in Ireland until we give the ‘right’ answer. Believe me, that will happen and we cannot trust any British politician to abide by the will of the people.

      We do not have to worry about Trade with the EU. The UK is their biggest export market unlike Switzerland who depends upon the EU for 60% of their trade. Germany’s GDP alone is predominantly dependent on export (52%) of which 6% is imported by the UK. Neither do we have to worry about job losses; the EU is far more likely to have far more job losses (despite Clegg’s lies) than we do should anything like a tariff war begin simply because we buy 50% more from them than they do from us.

      Lord Digby Brown, Labour’s Business Minister under Gordon Brown states ‘If the UK left the EU today, we would have a full trade agreement with the EU within 24 hours’.

  • Richard N

    Anyone with half a brain knows that the immigration – and particularly, the totally fictional ‘net migration’ figures – are so innaccurate as to make them meaningless.

    ‘Net migration’ or ‘Net immigration’ (they don’t like that immigration word) depends on knowing both how many are permanently entering, and permanently leaving, the country.

    How on earth could the government know ‘how many people are permanently leaving the country’?!!

    They could not possibly know that – or even take a guess at it. The ONLY reason the term ‘net migration’ ever came up was some Tory spin-master trying to think of some way to avoid telling the people of this country that HALF A MILLION new immigrants are coming in every year – and that is only the legal ones! (so add about 200,000 more illegals a year – at least).

    How could they reduce this figure?

    “I know – take the number of people permanently leaving out of it!”

    “But we haven’t got the slightest idea how many people are permanently leaving!”

    “That’s the beauty of it! We can come up with any old figure – think of a formula, no one can say it’s wrong cos no one has the slightest idea what it should be! – and take that figure off the number of immigrants!”

    Cameron thinks. “That’s brilliant! Let the BBC know that from now on, they should never use the word “immigration” – but instead, only the “net migration” figure we’ll give them!”

    Problem solved!

  • Conway

    Freedom of movement is central to the EU project (how can you have a United States of Europe without people being able to move freely between regions?) so Cameron will never be able to renegotiate this. The people of Britain have had enough. We want our borders controlled (if only so we can plan for housing, schools, welfare, etc). There is no reason to vote for Cameron since he is so dishonest about his chances of getting this important matter sorted.

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    UKIP it is then.

  • Lady Magdalene

    This must be U-Turn no. 78.
    Cameron ….. if he promised to get up in the morning, he’d break it.

  • IJMO_DS

    Immigration numbers are meaningless really. Its people that settle permanently that should be counted. In the interests of diversity settlement numbers should be capped by country, with extra weight given for country’s Britons want to live in. Asylum seekers and foreign students should be denied citizenship and settlement.

  • SimonToo

    Net migration is just such a slippery concept, one that transfers its slime to all the politicians that choose to use it. 1% of the indigenous population emigrating and being replaced by the same number of foreigners appears the same as 99% of the indigenous population leaving and being replaced by the same number of foreigners. Each is completely balanced net migration, but they hardly describe similar states of affairs.

    • Alexsandr

      quite.

      its all a matter of degree. a few is OK. Tens of thousands isnt.

  • Blindsideflanker

    If at first you don’t succeed, give it a half hearted try and then give up.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …and then blame it on “the coalition”.

      • Alexsandr

        or fachur.

      • Mynydd

        Mr Cameron first blames Labour then “the coalition”. By the way Mr Cameron set up the coalition because he didn’t have the bottle to go it alone.

  • wattys123

    the Tories could have hit their Target, most immigration isn’t EU but low/no skilled 3rd world. But they decided to carry on letting people marry-in illiterate 3rd world spouses, wholesale fraud through bogus collages and inter-company transfers where the company is selling UK citizenship.

  • southerner

    The target was always a lie as those with half a brain always knew it was. We expect nothing less from the socialist Europhile un-conservatives.

    • HookesLaw

      How can a target be a lie. You may succeed or you may fail.

      As it is we see plenty of lies from Kippers. Was Farage’s target of 26 million Romanian immigrants a lie?

      • southerner

        Beyond thick.

      • belarusi

        He knew that he had no means of controlling immigration numbers when he set his target. That was the lie.
        Farage did not set a traget for 26 million Romianian immigrants. He said that they were entitled to come to the UK if they so wished. That was true, and remains true.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    It’s amusing that the Camerluvvies are attempting one final marketeering stunt before Thursday. You have to hand it to them. They are persistent tricksters.

    • HookesLaw

      You are a persistent bigot.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …says the hysterical socialist nutter.

        • Hello

          Socialist?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …hysterical socialist nutter.

        • you_kid

          … says the national socialist nutter?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …says the socialist nutter sockpuppet.

            • you_kid

              did you speak, Farquaad?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …is that another of your sockpuppets, lad?

                • you_kid

                  We note your sockpuppets got the hose pipe treatment.
                  Lovely to watch, lad.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …what are you blathering about now, lad?

  • Smithersjones2013

    That Baron has called for Cameron to drop the commitment only demonstrates that Tory so called ‘Eurosceptics’ are nothing more than shallow implausible parodies of real Eurosceptics. Real Eurosceptics would be calling for quotas to achieve such a commitment similar to the Swiss!

    Of course given Cameron’s now evident Europhilia and submissiveness to Brussels belatedly scrapping the commitment in no way minimises the cynical dishonesty of making the commitment (given he clearly had no intention of controlling EU immiigration) in he first place.

    It can now be seen as being as blatantly dishonest as Osborne’s ‘No Plans To Raise VAT’ and further emphasises the second rule of politics.

    You Can’t trust The Tories Over Europe

  • Leo

    People will vote for UKIP is to protect our British heritage and culture before it is completely swallowed up by the EUSSR. Between 75 and 92% of our Laws in the UK are now made by our unelected, foreign Rulers in the EUSSR.
    Shame on the Lib/Lab/Cons!

    • Hello

      Gosh! I don’t believe it! Can this really be true? Why is no one saying anything?! What’s this EUSSR you speak of?

      • belarusi

        “Gosh! I don’t believe it! Can this really be true? Why is no one saying anything?!”

        Lots of people are saying that, or something similar. You need to listen a litlle more.

    • HookesLaw

      Repeating your pathetic lie does not make it any truer. Is this the sole Kipper tactic? Tell,a lie and then tell an even bigger one. You would make a good socialist. Given your nationalsism you would make a good national socialist.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …and you have the socialist thing down, as we see, laddie .

      • belarusi

        “Repeating your pathetic lie does not make it any truer”

        What lie did he utter?

        • HookesLaw

          The same one I criticised him for in the last thread. 75% 92% of laws blah blah blah.

          Its a good tactic repeating a lie since a few threads back I went to the trouble to explain why it was bogus and indeed amongst other things based on a total misreading of a statement.
          But now I cannot be bothered to do it all over again.

          • belarusi

            “The same one I criticised him for in the last thread. 75% 92% of laws blah blah blah.”

            What are the correct figures then?
            By the way, I regard any figure above zero as unacceptable. It may be an eccentric position to take, but I hold the view that I should only be required to comply with laws that have been passed by our own elected representatives.

            Lastly. Could you learn some manners?

            • Alexsandr

              hooky? manners? dont be silly. He always uses offence when he runs out of argument (which is often). A tactic he learned in the primary school playground. Last year.

              • telemachus

                All of which means that you have no argument to counter his views
                Not that there is any counter to his assertion that Ukip dissemble on most things

      • southerner

        ” You would make a good socialist.”
        Well, you and the Camerluvvies would know all about that.

        • HookesLaw

          You know all about stupidity. If all you can say is that Conservatives are ‘socialists’ then you really do make yourself look stupid.
          All the evidence points otherwise – unless to you a conservative is a rabid redneck N—— hating bigot.

          • southerner

            “….all you can say is that Conservatives are ‘socialists’…”
            No I say you and the Camerluvvies are socialists. You are not conservatives.

    • LindaRivera

      Vote for Liberty GB in the South East tomorrow! Liberty GB will halt immigration, expel illegal immigrants and reverse the Islamisation of Britain! Join in the fight for our nation!

      A problem: UKIP’s Nigel Farage Farage is in FAVOUR of immigration. In December 2013 in the EU Parliament, Farage declared: “We are not against immigration. We welcome
      immigration. We want immigration”

      One of UKIP’s muslim candidates, Farooq, Ummer, advertises with a statement saying: ‘Stop Racism’. Telling you to vote UKIP and ‘Make a Real Difference’. The difference UKIP have in mind is to make Islam even more powerful!

      Paul Weston in Croydon: It’s Not Racist to Defend Your Country
      http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/index.php/home/root/news-libertygb/5798-paul-weston-in-croydon-it-s-not-racist-to-defend-your-country

    • LindaRivera

      It’s alarming that Farage and UKIP lack the courage to stand for British values and culture! If nothing changes we face a terrifying future: Muslim conquest of Britain!

      Vote for Liberty GB in the South East tomorrow! Liberty GB will halt immigration, expel illegal immigrants and reverse the Islamisation of Britain! Join Liberty GB! Join in the noble fight for our nation!

      Paul Weston: Preventing White Genocide
      http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/index.php/home/root/news-libertygb/6178-preventing-white-genocide

      http://www.sarahludfordmep.org.uk/node/2329 Tory and UKIP MEPs fail to condemn female genital mutilation. 11 December 2013
      Lynne Featherstone MP and Liberal Democrat European human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford MEP have strongly condemned Conservatives MEPs who voted against or abstained in a European Parliament vote today on condemning the disgraceful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Four Conservative MEPs – Marta Andreasen, Nirj Deva, Sajjad Karim and Timothy Kirkhope – voted against the motion to condemn FGM, and several UKIP and Conservative MEPs including Nigel Farage abstained.

      Lynne Featherstone commented: “It is deeply shocking that so many Tory and UKIP MEPs today refused to condemn female genital mutilation.”… http://www.sarahludfordmep.org.uk/node/2329

      Farage/UKIP REFUSED to condemn FGM an intensely painful female-destroying muslim attack that leaves their victims in physical agony. Some victims die. The victims suffer life-long health problems. STOP the ISLAMISATION of Britain! Vote Liberty GB!

  • Alexsandr

    well for a start the net migration figure is meaningless to us. what we want to know is the actual immigration figure.

    Adn anyone with half a brain will know that controlling immigration is a massive FAIL for the coalition. Don’t know if it was stupid to have committed to controlling it or stupidity in failing to control it or both.

    • Hello

      “well for a start the net migration figure is meaningless to us. what we want to know is the actual immigration figure.”

      Oh, do you now? So you’re not really bothered about the strains on public services after all, it’s just a general xenophobic thing? Fair enough.

      • Alexsandr

        so a retired couple with a decent income retiring to the costa del sol is the same as a young family with limited English is the same thing is it?

        • Hello

          You mean a retired couple, who contribute zero to an economy’s output (not even looking after the grandchildren anymore because they’re holidaying in the Costa bloody del Sol) because they only consume, and who are a burden to a country’s healthcare system, versus the father of a young family who comes here to work, increases the country’s output, barely uses public services, and sends money home?

          • Alexsandr

            independantly wealthy, no school requirement? or family with kids oin special needs because of language problems, entitled to child benefit, tax credits, free prescriptions, dentistry. And do you think people sending money home helps the UK economy? I would have thought it was a massive brake on the economy.

            • LindaRivera

              Vote for Liberty GB in the South East tomorrow! Liberty GB will halt immigration, expel illegal immigrants and reverse the Islamisation of Britain! Join Liberty GB! Join in the noble fight for our nation!

              Unfortunately, UKIP’s Nigel Farage Farage is in FAVOUR of immigration. In December 2013 in the EU Parliament, Farage declared: “We are not against immigration. We welcome immigration. We want immigration”

              One of UKIP’s muslim candidates, Farooq, Ummer, advertises with a statement saying: ‘Stop Racism’. Telling you to vote UKIP and ‘Make a Real Difference’. The difference UKIP have in mind is to make Islam even more powerful!

              Paul Weston in Croydon: It’s Not Racist to Defend Your Country
              http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/index.php/home/root/news-libertygb/5798-paul-weston-in-croydon-it-s-not-racist-to-defend-your-country

    • HookesLaw

      Net migration will not go down even if immigration comes down if emigration falls as well. And Brits moving abroad might decline if the Eurozone is struggling.
      I see nothing wrong with having it as a target. its surely a laudable aim and the govt can point to 9 out of 10 new jobs going to British workers.

      But of course most kippers have no idea what comprises immigration. A large part is students who then leave, and this govt have cracked down on bogus students.
      Some immigration is British people returning and some emigration is former immigrants leaving. So there is a lot to influence the net figure.

      Based on the last figures, if we were to leave the EU then this would leave us deciding over some 129,000 work related EU people a year. Some of these would presumably be let in even by Farage and his fellow nutjobs. So leaving the EU could conceivably only make a difference of 60,000 immigrants a year. What is all the Kipper hysteria about?

      • Mynydd

        So you see nothing wrong with having net migration as a target. So I tell why it was wrong. You can only set a target if you have the means to achieve that target. Mr Cameron has no control over immigration from the EU, and emigration from the UK. Mr Cameron was told this when he came up with policy, but no he wanted to counter UKIP attack, so without thinking he dug a deep hole for himself. The figures show this, net migration has gone up during his time on office. At last people are seeing through Mr Cameron and all his claims.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here