Alliance Slams Restrictions On Immigration

Alliance spokesperson for the Economy Stephen Farry MLA has hit out at blanket UK restrictions on immigration and called for a more region-specific approach to the issue.

The party's deputy leader was responding to the long-awaited publication of a Home Office paper on Wednesday 19 December and criticised the "one-size fits all" stance taken by the Migration Advisory Committee.

The new strategy sets out plans for a future "skills-based immigration system", which Home Secretary Sajid Javid said would maximise the benefits of immigration while ending the free movement of EU citizens.

"Immigration is good for all of the UK, including Northern Ireland. It enriches our society, with immigrants helping our economy to be competitive and maintaining the quality of our public services," Mr Farry said.
News Image
"Today's Home Office White Paper is self-defeating for the UK economy, and it panders to scare-mongering. The Migration Advisory Committee debunked many of the myths around immigration, but sadly, its recommendations bore little connection to its own analysis.

"Furthermore, little consideration is given to the particular needs of the different regions of the UK. In Northern Ireland, large elements of the economy including manufacturing, hospitality, and the agri-food sectors plus health and social care already have a considerable dependency upon migrant labour, including at lower skill levels."

The North Down MLA explained that the UK-wide approach doesn't address the needs of Northern Ireland, due to the "need for some devolution of powers over immigration to Northern Ireland to address local circumstances around salary levels".

"These different needs have already been articulated by a range of local stakeholders, including the joint letter from the then First Minister and deputy First Minister in August 2016 and a joint statement across a range of business organisations.

"Alliance has also raised these concerns directly with the Prime Minister, and we will continue to make representations over the coming weeks."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 December 2020
First Covid-19 Vaccine Approved For Use Across The UK
The announcement that the first Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for widespread use has been welcomed as a "hugely significant day for Northern Ireland" by Health Minister Robin Swann. The approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been issued by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
17 September 2013
Two Men Arrested For Overstaying Their Visas
Two men have been arrested following a planned immigration raid at a Chinese takeaway in Newcastle, Co Down. A Chinese man, 53, and a Filipino man, 24, working in the Wok Box, were discovered by Home Office officials. Both men were found to have overstayed their visas.
21 June 2011
Illegal Workers Held In Belfast Raids
Two illegal workers have been caught in planned raids undertaken by UK Border Agency officers in Belfast. The enforcement operation was carried out as part of a nationwide campaign to tackle immigration crime. Officers targeted two restaurants, The Four Seasons in Dublin Road, Belfast and China, China in University Street, Belfast last Thursday.
20 July 2009
Border Watch Office Creates NI Jobs
Over two dozen jobs are being created with the opening of a new Belfast office of the UK Border Agency. Billed as a 'one stop shop' for immigration services in Northern Ireland, it was officially opened on Monday in south Belfast. The facility will handle asylum claims, enforce immigration law and enrol foreign nationals on to the ID cards scheme.
12 November 2020
New Fund Launches To Help Voluntary Sector Safely Reopen
A £3.3 million fund to help the voluntary, community and social economy sectors safely deliver essential services during the Covid-19 crisis has been announced by Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín. From the the £3.3million Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector (VCSE) Covid Recovery Fund, includes an allocation of £2.