world : Reform UK 'not anti-immigration'

world : Reform UK 'not anti-immigration'
world : Reform UK 'not anti-immigration'

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:52 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Reform UK is not against immigration and favours a "one in, one out" policy, its deputy chairman has said.

Speaking to the BBC following the Scottish party leaders' debate, David Kirkwood said he does not think Scotland needs more people to cover labour shortages.

Pointing to comments made by First Minister John Swinney during the debates that NHS staffing is at a "record level", Mr Kirkwood said this meant there could not be a labour shortage.

You can’t have staffing at record levels and a "manpower shortage" at the same time, Mr Kirkwood said.

Industries such as hospitality have always been staffed by people from different countries and there is no reason why this cannot continue, he said.

Mr Kirkwood continued: "What we’ve said is one in, one out. Effectively, 600,000 people left the UK last year so even at that level, we still have 600,000 people coming in.

"If you listen to [SNP leader] John Swinney tonight, he said that staffing in the NHS is at record levels.

"You can’t have staffing at record levels and a manpower shortage. You can’t have both."

Reform UK's manifesto document, 'Contract with you', external, pledges to freeze "non-essential immigration" by recruiting doctors, nurses and business people.

Alongside deporting foreign criminals and restricting student dependents, the party also pledge a six point plan to "stop the boats" by taking migrants who attempt to cross the Channel back to France.

The Conservatives have said immigration is too high and suggested there should be an annual cap on numbers, with the cap decided by Parliament.

The Labour Party has also vowed to cut migration, as well as investing in a new Border Security Command, which "would smash the gangs" trafficking people into the UK.

The SNP has said migration was “absolutely essential” for public services, businesses and the economy and the "demonisation" of migration should end, calling it a "race to the bottom" which did not serve Scotland's interests.

As for the Liberal Democrats, they have said the Conservative UK government has made a "mess" of the migration and asylum systems.

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