In the Daily Mail was a story that exposes UKIP’s immigration platform as flawed.
For we learn from Bulgaria’s ambassador to the UK, Konstantin Dimitrov, that not one request from British employers to hire Bulgarian immigrants – where the paperwork was in order – has been refused since 2007.
Given that the restrictions on freedom of movement for Bulgarian nationals to come to the UK have not even lapsed yet, this is more evidence that the EU cannot be blamed for most of the immigration to these shores. UKIP’s attempt to blame EU membership for the immigration explosion in this country may be music to the ears of many EUsceptics, but it undermines EUsceptic credibility because the reality is very different.
Popular as UKIP’s immigration demonisation focus may be with many of the party faithful, the BNP leaning constituency in the country and a fair number living in multi-ethnic areas, the fact that UKIP lays the blame for our immigration ills at the door of the EU is a fundamental error borne of ignorance, and represents the party missing a huge open goal. Public anger and frustration, and UKIP’s campaign, should be directed at the real guilty party – the UK government.
Over two-thirds of immigrants to the UK come from non-EU countries. Much of the immigration is from India and Pakistan, particularly through the rules permitting family members of those already here to come and join them. Chinese, Africans, South Americans all come here in significant numbers. This has nothing to do with EU rules and everything to do with global rules and domestic decision making by British politicians.
But UKIP is not attacking the UK government, despite it bearing responsibility for the number of migrants from non-EU countries it allows to stay in the UK, most of the total. And for years prior to Bulgarians having the right of freedom of movement thoughout the EU, the UK government has allowed thousands of them to settle here. UKIP could be making mincemeat of Labour and the Conservatives for their record on immigration. But they are missing an open goal by focusing on EU migration, which even if it was stopped overnight, would reduce by less than a third the number of migrants coming here.