Alliance Slam DUP's Support For Immigration Bill

An Alliance MLA has hit out at the "shameful" decision of the Democratic Unionists to offer their support to a Government Bill that ends freedom of movement after the UK leaves the EU.

The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill passed by 297 votes to 234, despite a Labour u-turn on the matter.

According to Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson, Labour allowed the Government to secure a comfortable victory and "disgracefully abdicated its responsibility" in Parliament.

"The DUP support for this Bill was also shameful," the east Antrim representative said.
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"It is bad for our economy and our society in general. Immigration is a positive for the UK, particularly Northern Ireland. It enriches our society, with immigrants helping our economy to be competitive and maintaining the quality of our public services.

"In the joint letter from the then-First and Deputy First Minister in August 2016, it was outlined the challenges the local economy faced, with the region having a greater need for labour across a wide range of skill levels. Manufacturing and agri-food in particular have a dependency upon migrant labour.

"But those supposed concerns from the DUP appear to be just empty words. The local labour market is different from the rest of the UK and we need the ability to recruit across all skill levels and salary thresholds. The DUP are now preventing the very people from coming to Northern Ireland they were welcoming just a few years ago in that letter."


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