Action to control asylum and immigration

Alistair Craig, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich, this week drew attention to the soaring costs of asylum in Greenwich. Across England, under Mr Blair, local councils’ spending on asylum has reached over £140 per household. In Greenwich since 1997 a total of £50,914,585  has been spent on the asylum crisis.

Alistair said:“Fair play matters. Britain has a proud tradition of giving refuge to people genuinely fleeing persecution – it is a tradition we all want to keep. But our asylum system is being abused. Only 2 out of 10 people who claim asylum are genuine refugees. Abuse of the system is putting pressure on local services.

“The cost of asylum support by local councils has risen over thirty times under Mr Blair. The majority of Britons want a system that gives priority to genuine asylum seekers. But their values have been forgotten by Mr Blair, who has allowed the system to be abused: Greenwich Council alone have spent over £50 million on asylum since 1997. This is taxpayers’ money that could have been spent on other local priorities. Mr Blair promised to run a ‘swift and fair’ asylum system. This was all talk.

“The situation will get even worse if Labour, supported by the Liberal Democrats, surrender to the European Commission and give up our veto over new EU laws on asylum and immigration, and give unelected, unaccountable judges more power over our asylum system.”

Instead, Conservatives have recently outlined practical solutions to tackle the problem:

• Parliament will set an annual limit on the number of people who come to Britain, including a quota for asylum seekers.

• We will withdraw from the 1951 UN Convention which prevents Britain deporting people who abuse the system.

• We will break the link between arriving in Britain and claiming asylum which supports the terrible trade in people smuggling. Claims will no longer be considered in the UK. Britain will only take genuine refugees in the care of the UNHCR. If people do try to claim asylum here, they will be taken to centres closer to their regions of origin.

• We will introduce an Australian-style points system for work permits – giving priority to people with the skills Britain needs.