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General election 2019: So where do main parties stand on immigration?

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Both the main parties have been snarled up today in their promises about immigration.

Higher? Lower? Limited? Unlimited? European, non-European? Skilled? Un-skilled?

Labour is tangled up over whether it will do what its conference voted to do in September, to “extend freedom of movement” if it wins the election.

Home Secretary Priti Patel was repeatedly pressed over whether the Conservative Party’s intention is truly to cut the numbers overall, or just to have control.

A party press release said a Tory government would reduce the numbers, but in later interviews Ms Patel was less enthusiastic about repeating that language.

No mistake, Labour and the Tories have radically different approaches to handling the number of people that move to the UK.

‘Family reunion’

This has been roughly stable for the past few years, with the country growing by roughly the equivalent of a city like Newcastle or Oldham being added to the population.

But the debate about it has been anything but stable, hence the political nerves.

Jeremy Corbyn’s policy looks set to make it easier for people who live here to bring other members of their family into the UK, the process of “family reunion”.

The previous government made it harder for that to happen by increasing the income level required for people who wanted to bring their relatives to live here


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