Our values are under attack - 21/02/2020
Comment from Deputy Leader James Clarke
"As the ship of state becomes cast off from reality, it is more crucial than ever that we remain steadfast in the defence of our values"
This week, Priti Patel announced the government's new immigration system, a cruder version of Australia's which, famously, has not reduced immigration. However, if it is ever properly implemented, it will almost entirely close the door on the recruitment of "low-skilled", low-wage migrants from the EU.
The UK business sectors likely to be worst affected include social care, construction, food processing, hospitality and retail. Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, (which has hitherto been regrettably silent on the likely effect of Brexit on industry) stated that, "firms will be left wondering how they will recruit the people needed to run their businesses."
In response, Patel's laid the blame for policy-generated labour shortages on the business community, baldly asserting that, “it is about time businesses started to invest in people in this country."
Further, she pointed to 8.5m 'economically inactive' people in the UK who could theoretically fill the shortages. ONS statistics revealed that 70% of these people were long-term sick, retired, students and home-carers.
It underlines a key characteristic of what the UK is going through and what we must be prepared for. In the current political climate, policy will be built not around evidence, but around confrontation, blame and doublethink. Much of what passes for governance is now merely performative, signalling behaviour to core voters.
As the ship of state becomes cast off from reality, it is more crucial than ever that we remain steadfast in the defence of our values.
For Renew, immigration policy must be built around the needs of the UK's workers, bosses and businesses, not the requirements of an ideological project that panders to illiberal ideas. It must also be ethical and demonstrative of our commitment to openness, transparency and international cooperation.
In the coming weeks Renew will begin rolling out our version of the OpenPolitics Manifesto, and members will be able to play their part in building a dynamic document that shows who we are and what we stand for.
I hope you will all elect to contribute to it and help us to build something new.
Help Carla and her family!
Renew candidate and activist Carla Burns has started a petition to make the "Life in the UK" test more relevant and realistic. Carla's husband, Yves, who some of you might have met on the campaign trail, was born in France but has worked and paid taxes in the UK for 20 years. As part of applying to stay with his family in the UK, he has to complete the test, which includes questions on obscure British history, dates and celebrities. We were wondering whether Conservative MPs would be able to answer the questions...
Citizenship should not be reliant on the ability to pass a test that would baffle many born in the UK. Especially when many of those who apply work round the clock to support themselves and their families, the added stress of completing arbitrary processes can be hugely damaging.
Sign the petition here, and remember to share it on your social media!
This week on Digital Democracy, we're asking for your input on immigration, and alternatives to the currently-proposed points-based system. Open door? Similar system but with less stringent criteria? Priority for family members of citizens?
Let us know what you think. To comment on this policy idea, head to Digital Democracy today and click on the policy title.
Remember: you need to be a Renew member to vote on Renew policy ideas. Sign up today for this exclusive benefit.