Labour’s Manifesto for the Many

Unlocking the FLR(M) visa process

As an organisation, UK Immigration Solicitors has no political bias, but what we do have is a clear awareness about how the political landscape affects people who require immigration support. As such, we take great interest in how the general election — just like Brexit — will affect our clients, and how the Labour Manifesto could play a major part in this.

Labour’s manifesto has shown a very interesting narrative being drawn out by the Labour party. They clearly make one statement with regards to Brexit and immigration:

“A Labour government will immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens who have chosen to make their lives in EU countries. EU nationals do not just contribute to our society: they are part of our society. And they should not be used as bargaining chips.

It is shameful that the Prime Minister rejected repeated attempts by Labour to resolve this issue before Article 50 was triggered. As a result three million EU nationals have suffered unnecessary uncertainty, as have the 1.2 million UK citizens living in the EU.”

It makes a clear promise to do what many have always felt should have been done in the first place — the guarantee security for immigrants already in th UK, especially EU migrants worried about the effects of Brexit. In fact, the guarantee to afford PR automatically to current EU migrant workers is something that the Tory government originally tabled, the Lords emphasised, but then Theresa May reneged on. Our society, with all it’s gall, seemed to selectively ignore the 2 million expats currently sunning it up in leisure over in the warmer climates of the EU.

It seemed to the rest of the EU that we wanted to jump ship so we could row around on our own, whilst leave our passengers on the boat.

Rightly so, in balance, Corbyn wants them to be given reciprocal guarantees from the EU — which I imagine would not be too difficult since this is what the other member states have been saying.

It seems that Jeremy Corbyn has remained consistently…consistent. A habit of his. The labour policies are focusing on fairness, mutual benefit, and a forward thinking approach. They aren’t aiming for the hyperbole of trying to play poker-faced politics with the EU over economic or migration issues. Of course he intends to put our national interests first, but it appears he wants to do this within a frame of protecting workers’ rights in terms of what we have gained from the EU over the years.

It is noticeable that the word “immigration” is absent from the contents section of Labour’s manifesto, and although it is inferred, Corbyn does not draw focus on it in his foreword — in fact he doesn’t even use the word at all. Nor does he mention “migrant”, “EU” or any suggestion that “Britain” should be made up of any different mixture of people. As a writer myself, I can say with near certainty that this was a very conscious choice.

Paul Nutall might want to mention “immigrants” every fifth word in the UKIP manifesto (I don’t know — personally, I can’t say I have any intention of reading it…), just as Farage rarely got through a sentence without it.

It is very telling, however, that Labour’s manifesto draws very little attention to the issue of immigration at all. It sings loud the idea of unity and community; international relations; services for the many; and rich diversity. I can’t help but think immigrants currently living in the UK would not read it and feel somewhat reassured and welcomed. They might not be able to vote, but they might be able to influence voters.

Smart move, Labour — smart move indeed.

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