Global Visas

Global Visas

May 05, 2010 02:30 ET

UK Immigration Put in Spotlight With 'Bigotgate'

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 5, 2010) - The Prime Minister is paying for his 'bigotgate' gaffe last week, with the now famous Mrs Gillian Duffy by having the spotlight thrown on the contentious issue of UK immigration ahead of this week's general election.

If Gordon Brown's public comments to Mrs Duffy were an attempt at not putting too fine a point on it, his private comments unwittingly revealed on his live microphone afterwards have instead made immigration the hot topic on voters' lips.

The issue which the Rochdale grandmother raised with the Prime Minister was the apparent stream of migrants. She was talking specifically about those from former Eastern European countries, also called A8 countries. A sensitive subject, UK immigration it is one which all three parties have taken care not to be drawn on. However, it is one of the most popular subjects to be raised by voters frequently.

Home office figures report that at the end of last year, over a million workers from countries such as Poland and Lithuania had registered to come and work in the UK. The influx of these migrants has put local authorities under strain and left locals in areas such as Rochdale claiming there are fewer jobs available due to the increased demand for work.

The Prime Minister apologised for calling Mrs Duffy a 'bigoted woman' but he now faces the effects his comments may have on voters, many of whom consider it an insult to their legitimate concerns over immigration. Mr Brown claims the Government's new points system, which is meant to limit the amount of incomers to the country, had already seen net migration come down.

The other parties meanwhile have provided their policies on UK immigration. The Conservatives put forward the idea of a quota system, while the Liberal Democrats are championing a regional immigration system and amnesty against illegal immigrants who have lived in the UK for over ten years. However, the fatal flaw with most of the ideas comes from the fact that as EU citizens they have a right to live and work in the UK.

It seems that Gordon Brown's accidental publicising of the issue brings with it a ton of questions and highlights that Mrs Duffy's concerns are very real. But as the Prime Minister also stated, there are thousands of Britons who leave the UK every year to live in another country, so the question remains why are we seeing such a strain on resources with the migrants coming to the UK? It is a question which will have to be thrust about a lot more before it's answered.

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