I have described David Cameron’s posturing on immigration today as vacuous and cynical, for that is exactly what it is.

Cynical because once again he seems determined to fool the British people into believing that we can seriously have our own immigration policy whilst remaining inside the EU. We can’t.

Vacuous because his policy solution seems to consist of tinkering around the edges of the problem instead of dealing with it head on. Under his government, net migration levels per annum remain in the hundreds of thousands, with citizens from twenty-seven other nations allowed to come and go as they please.

What Britain really needs is a tough, solid, Australian-style immigration system. One which is firm but fair and that can control numbers.

I would argue that this — the UKIP policy — is the most ethical immigration policy there is.

The EU immigration policy set for us in Brussels discriminates against doctors and lawyers from places like India, America and China, whilst showing an open door to anyone from Eastern Europe. That isn’t ethical. It isn’t fair. And indeed, in many ways, it is downright racist.

A competitive Britain is one which controls the quality and quantity of people coming into our country, one that welcomes those willing to pay their way and contribute to our system before they can take out.

Under UKIP, new migrants would have to pay for their own health insurance and work for five years before they would gain access to free healthcare. Local people with family links to an area would get preference for social housing over newcomers.

That is the Britain that we in UKIP want to see: welcoming the bright and the best, but looking after our own people first.

What David Cameron is offering is the type of watered-down policy direct from Brussels which offers very little change from Labour’s disastrous tenure in government.

It is time to take back control of our borders. It is time to leave the European Union to become a competitive, engaged, patriotic nation once more.

​Steven Woolfe is Ukip’s Migration Spokesman

Tags: David Cameron, European Union, Immigration, UKIP