Labour opened the door to uncontrolled mass immigration from eastern Europe after then-Bank of England governor Mervyn King “pressed the case” that it would “lower wage growth”, a former senior diplomat has claimed.
King, in private conversations with Tony Blair, put forward the case that Britain should neglect to impose transitional controls on migrants from nations which joined the European Union (EU) in 2004, according to Sir Ivan Rogers, the former Labour leader’s private principal secretary at the time.
“King pressed the case to open the labour market without transition on the grounds that it would help lower wage growth and inflation, address supply bottlenecks in a fast-growing pre-financial crisis economy, and help keep interest rates low,” he said.
Sir Ivan suggested Labour’s decision not to impose controls — which resulted in an influx of over a million EU migrants from eastern member-states, flying in the face of assurances that just 15,000 a year would come — was a factor in the Brexit vote last year, in a 12,000 word essay on the breakdown of Britain’s relationship with Brussels.
“The two most visible effects of the enlargement policy championed so vigorously by the British elite were something close to a tripling of the UK’s net contribution to EU coffers, and the huge influx of eastern European labour to the UK, facilitated by the Blair government decision to open the UK labour market without the transitional periods permitted by the treaties.
“When the UK’s pro-EU elites excoriate Cameron’s decision on the referendum, or his strategy to win it, they have also, I think, to reflect on how they underestimate the real world consequences of enlargement,” asserted Sir Ivan, delivering the essay as a speech to Oxford University on Thursday.
UKIP leader Henry Bolton told Breitbart London: “This revelation shows us that a Labour prime minister, in connivance with the Bank of England, deliberately used uncontrolled, low-skilled immigration to drive down the wages of British workers. Another example of the hypocrisy of the Labour party and Tony Blair.
“The betrayals continue under Corbyn,” he added, highlighting claims that the Labour-led regional government in Wales has been “subsidising Amazon to import EU migrant workers rather than employ local people”.