Thursday, August 27, 2015


There is no issue more controversial at present than immigration. It's been so for many years, but today's net immigration into the UK over the last year has poured petrol on the fire. It's an issue distorting British politics and is set to continue.
During the six weeks before the General Election, a team of my supporters knocked on thousands of Montgomeryshire doors. Our avowed aim was to coax voters into telling us what they thought were the important issues. I wanted to know their concerns, and understand. It would be good in the event of my being re-elected.
was surprised indeed by the response. Very few were concerned about our NHS and schools. As I had expected, and had focused on in my campaign literature. In second place was concern about an over-generous benefit system. But in first place, by a long way, was concern about immigration. I admit to being quite taken aback.  Even in Montgomeryshire, where immigration is comparatively low, there was a widespread concern that too many migrants are coming into the UK.
Since May the scale of immigration has increased further. Today we learn that in the year up to March, net migration has reached the astonishing highest ever level of 330,000 - up 94,000. It's become a serious concern right across the EU. And it's increasing. Thousands of people are being picked up in the Med every day off the coast of Italy. Thousands are arriving in Greece every day. Germany expects 800,000 refugees this year. It's the same all over Europe. And the reality is that once all these migrants become established, EU rules based on the fundamental principle of the free movement of people across EU borders mean they can settle anywhere in Europe, including Britain.
Some people campaign to have all, or at least a significant number of these migrants/refugees to be allowed into the UK. There are two million Syrian refugees - displaced by an evil regime that Parliament decided last September should be allowed to continue its brutal attacks on its own people. If we were to open our borders, where on earth would they all go? What would happen to our schools and health services? What would happen to wage levels, which have only recently started to rise again? 
There are no easy answers. Next year or in 2017 there will be a referendum on whether we should remain members of the EU. Unless the huge numbers of migrants into the EU is brought under control. Voters may well link immigration with being in the European Union. I really can see the British people voting to leave the EU altogether. It's not just in Montgomeryshire this issue is a major concern. I suspect it's of far greater concern in many other parts of the UK.

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