Unsurprisingly, immigration is front and centre as politicians hit the campaign trail in the lead-up to the General Election.
Today the issue has come to a head, particularly between Ukip leader Paul Nuttall and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn. Here is what the two have to say about immigration.
Ukip launched its new immigration policy at Westminster. The party proposes establishing a migration control commission to reduce the numbers of people arriving in the UK from 600,000 to around 300,000 a year, in order to meet the target of zero net migration.
The idea is part of what Ukip leader Paul Nuttall labelled an “honest and clear commitment to cut immigration” by pledging to ensure the same number of people leave the country as come into it over a rolling five-year period.
Nuttall said that net migration figures from last year showed a “city the size of Newcastle” came to the UK despite the Tory Party pledge. He argued it puts strain on the NHS, schools and other services.
Ukip’s pledge to pursue a zero net migration target is seen as a bid to put further pressure on the Conservatives, who are expected to maintain their policy to reduce migration numbers to the tens of thousands.
Corbyn was pretty damning when asked about Ukip’s newly launched immigration policy. He said in no uncertain terms: “I think it’s a totally unrealistic policy, and I don’t think Ukip have given it any thought whatsoever.”
Corbyn instead said you have to ensure “it’s a fair system that works for all”, referencing workers who have come to the UK from abroad and made significant contributions to the economy.
However, the Labour leader remained cagey when asked if the party would put a number on net migration. “Sorry, you’re going to have to wait and see,” he said.