Labour have today released their manifesto for the 2015 general election. It contains a number of commitments on immigration; twelve in all. Indeed, all of what they have said is to be welcomed; particularly the commitment to increase the number of border guards by a thousand, the pledge to stop companies hiring only from abroad and the promise to stop the exploitation of migrant workers. There is nothing wrong with any of these suggestions but there is also nothing about how and to what extent that would actually reduce the level of net migration to the UK that is the source of rapid population growth.
It is perhaps also worth noting that that in their 1997 manifesto Labour said that ‘every country needs firm immigration controls and Britain is no exception.’ Instead, what followed over the next thirteen years was an influx of 3.6 million net migrants. So while everything they propose sounds good in theory, we have to remember Labour’s record on immigration and ask whether their manifesto reflects any real commitment to bring numbers down.