UK Conservatives split on the question of immigration
A senior minister from the conservative coalition in UK has been rebuked by the Prime Minister David Cameroon for saying that migration from within EU has had mostly positive effects on the economy and the society in UK. Kenneth Clarke, a veteran Conservative politician who served in Mrs Thatcher’s cabinet in the 1980s, told The Financial Times, that immigrants from the EU had made ‘a positive contribution to our economy’. He is usually regarded as an europhille, a position that becomes very rare in the conservative party as it is more and more regarded as eurosceptic. During the last five years the three main parties – The Conservatives, the Labour party and the Liberal democrats tried to outdo each other in expressing their “tough” views in immigration. This behavior has been encouraged by the fact that many polls have shown that the UK public is increasingly eurosceptical and anti immigration. According ot Mr Clarke it will be impossible for the single EU market to work unless people are allowed to move freely from country to country. In addition to that he called people who want to stop EU immigrant coming to UK “escapists”. ‘The idea that you can have some fundamental debate that somehow stops all these foreigners coming here is rather typical right wing, nationalist escapism, I think’, he said. At the same time the Prime Minister Cameron faces pressure from all sides to oppose the incoming immigration flow from Romania and Bulgaria whose citizens have unrestricted right to live and work in UK after 1 January 2014. The far right party UKIP opposes the liberal immigration policies and the member ship of Britain in EU. Mr Clarke is one of the very few conservative politicians who has been supportive of EU. Many think that this is the reason why he was not able to assume a leadership position in the conservative party.
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