22 March 2018

UK Conservatives pledge immigration curb

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Britain’s ruling Conservatives promised to clamp down on immigration from outside and within the EU as the party launched its general election manifesto on Thursday.

In Halifax, northern England, party leader and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said the manifesto -- already leaked to the media -- was a plan for a “stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain”.

“As we advance on the momentous journey of Brexit, we have a chance to ask what kind of country we want,” May said.

The British premiere said her party would form a new “deep and special partnership with Europe”, adding the U.K. could not be "half in, half out" of the EU.

The manifesto also claimed the Tories would "bear down on immigration from outside the EU" across all visa routes.

Reducing migration to tens of thousands, a pledge by the previous government under David Cameron, has not materialized as net migration was 273,000 in September 2016.

Thursday’s manifesto said a new Conservative government would reduce and control immigration from Europe following Brexit.

It also suggested non-EU migrants pay more to use country’s healthcare services.

However, Labour mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was one of the first to hit out the manifesto. He said the ruling party's immigration polices were "totally unworkable and will cause huge damage to London’s economy".

Labour also published a document on what it called broken promises by the Conservative government over the last two years.

A group of Unite labor union members also protested at Thursday’s Conservative launch, unhappy over so-called ‘zero hours contracts’ and problems in the National Health Service.

U.K. voters are set to go to the polls on June 8 to elect a new government that will lead exit negotiations with the EU.

The polls indicate a clear Conservative lead with over 20 days to go.

2017.05.18 / 16:36
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