May makes migration key agenda for Tories
BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May is making immigration a key plank in her election strategy, it emerged yesterday.
She revealed that she plans to stick to pledges to reduce annual net migration to Britain to below 100,000 a year, as the Tory party put together its manifesto for a snap election on June 8.
Mrs May has previously backed her predecessor David Cameron’s promise to cut the figure to ‘tens of thousands’, but there had been some speculation that her party might not include the promise in its manifesto.
Net migration has consistently been running at around three times the government’s target, with the latest figures in February putting the level at 273,000. When asked during a visit to a business in London yesterday, if she would include the number in the manifesto, the prime minister told the BBC: ‘We want to see sustainable net migration in this country, I believe that sustainable net migration is in the tens of thousands.
‘Leaving the European Union enables us to control our borders in relation to people coming from the EU as well as those who are coming from outside the EU.’
The Tory manifesto is also expected to include a ‘triple lock’ of pledges that would end the free movement of labour from the EU, withdraw from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and to pull out of the single market and EU customs union – all measures the prime minister says will strengthen her hand when it comes to negotiating the terms of Britain’s divorce from the remaining EU 27.
Meanwhile, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he will not be standing in the election. He said: ‘I believe I can use my profile in European politics to put real pressure on MEPs to vote for a sensible deal.’
Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday he would defeat a ‘cosy cartel’ at the heart of British politics, casting himself as the anti-establishment challenger. The promise, to be delivered via higher taxes on the wealthy and a crackdown on powerful corporations, set the tone for a campaign in which the veteran left-winger will try to defy opinion polls that point to a heavy defeat.
Mrs May sprang a major surprise on Tuesday by calling a June 8 election, three years ahead of schedule, to capitalise on a dramatic collapse in support for Labour and win a stronger mandate to boost her in complex divorce talks with the European Union.
While she tries to focus the debate on Brexit, Corbyn is looking to harness a powerful antiestablishment mood revealed by last year’s EU referendum in Britain and echoed in the rhetoric of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump during last year’s US election campaign.
The political system was biased in favour of large companies, he said.
‘We can control our own borders’
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