The Labour Party has drawn up secret plans to facilitate mass, unskilled, and seasonal immigration even after Brexit, as well as throwing open the doors to asylum seekers and their families.
The party’s election manifesto makes no mention of either policy, promising only to put in place “fair rules and reasonable management of migration”.
But a leaked policy document seen by the Daily Mail reveals the party has ambitions to continue the flow of unskilled migration into Britain even after the country leaves the European Union – despite immigration being second only to the sovereignty issue in the list of people’s reasons to vote for Brexit last year.
Specifically, the document shows the party intends to make use of ‘Tier 3’ of the immigration system for the first time.
One of the five original tiers of the immigration system drawn up by the previous Labour Government in 2008, Tier 3, offering visas to unskilled migrants, was never used because the need was met by migration from Eastern Europe.
“We envisage a requirement to make continued use of the current five-tiered visa system, including the currently unused tier applicable to those seeking low-skilled, unskilled or seasonal work,” the document states.
Tier 3 was shut down under David Cameron’s leadership in 2013. In a speech announcing the move, he questioned why it was ever created in the first place. “There was even, extraordinarily, a tier specifically created for those with no skills at all. Now why would you want to create such a tier?’ he said.
Mr. Corbyn has long been opposed to placing caps on immigration. Speaking on Monday, the Labour leader said numbers would probably come down under a Labour administration, but added: “Don’t hold me to that.”
On asylum, the document says: “We would overhaul our discredited current system in order to uphold our obligations to those fleeing war and persecution. Immigration is driven more by economic requirements of both migrant and host far more than it is regulated by systems of permit control. The numbers might go up or down but not as a consequence of these changes. We are not setting false, misleading, divisive targets.”
It further sets out plans to ditch rules which prevent foreign spouses living in the UK unless they can prove they will not be a burden on the taxpayer and would relax rules on claiming asylum in line with its manifesto, which states: “Refugees are not migrants. They have been forced from their homes, by war, famine or other disasters. Unlike the Tories, we will uphold the proud British tradition of honouring the spirit of international law and our moral obligations by taking our fair share of refugees.”
A Labour spokesman confirmed the document is genuine, adding: “After Britain leaves the EU, free movement of labour will come to an end. Labour will introduce fair rules and managed migration, based on the needs of our economy.
“A number of discussion papers have been produced. This is part of one such document. It is not a statement of Labour policy, which is set out in our manifesto.”
But Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said the document fit a pattern on immigration set by the Labour Party, in which key aims are not revealed to the public beforehand.
“We have been here before. Labour are low key about immigration before they get into power but very different in office. The last time they came to power in 1997 they also promised to reform the system. Within three years immigration had trebled from 50,000 to 150,000,” he said.
“That was even before they opened the gates to Eastern Europe. Later, one of their key advisers admitted in print that ‘It didn’t just happen: the deliberate policy of Ministers from late 2000 … was to open up the UK to mass immigration.’
“When they left office in 2010, net migration had reached a quarter of a million a year. It is now back at that level. This leaked document has similar fingerprints all over it.
“Suggestions to increase immigration are intended to be kept secret until after the election. These proposals are very likely to result in losing control over immigration altogether.”