PRIME minister David Cameron was at University Campus Suffolk on the Ipswich Waterfront this lunchtime to deliver a keynote speech on immigration.

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His journey to Suffolk was delayed by 15 minutes after he and his party were forced to get off the train at Manningtree because of problems on the line.

They completed the journey to Ipswich by car.

Speaking at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich, the Prime Minister said that the previous Labour government let immigration to get “far too high and badly out of control” and allowed the benefits system to become a “soft touch”.

He said: “While I have always believed in the benefits of immigration, I have also always believed that immigration has to be properly controlled.

“Without proper controls community confidence is sapped, resources are stretched and the benefits that immigration can bring are lost or forgotten.”

Mr Cameron restated the Conservative aim of bringing net migration down to the tens of thousands, and said he wanted to ensure that those who do come to the UK are “the brightest and the best”, who can contribute to the country’s economy.

The PM also set out Government plans to negotiate with other European states on making economically inactive migrants the responsibility of their home countries and limiting the amount of child benefit paid towards the upkeep of children living abroad.

He said local and national taskforces will be set up to tackle businesses which use illegal immigrants in particular sectors and regions, like agricultural work in East Anglia.

Private landlords will be told to check tenants’ immigration status, with “consequences” for those which fail to do so.

On illegal immigrants, Mr Cameron said the Government was “rolling up that red carpet and showing them the door”.

Mr Cameron’s speech comes amid growing unease among Tory backbenchers after his party slumped to third place behind Ukip in the Eastleigh by-election, where concerns over immigration played a big part in the campaign.

In a regular Westminster media briefing this morning the PM’s official spokesman denied that the approach being taken was “inflammatory”.

The spokesman said: “It’s also a very important one to be able to have a debate about, given the widespread concerns, and that is what the Prime Minister is doing in his speech today.”

He denied that the speech sent a message to foreign students and skilled workers that they are not welcome in Britain.

“The PM’s been very clear about the importance of being able to continue to attract the brightest and the best to the UK and the importance of that to the UK,” said the spokesman. “He was recently in India making clear there is no limit to student applications from those who have a place and have the appropriate English language qualification.”

Cameron’s visit comes just hours before UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage is due to hold a rally in Brandon.

Mr Farage speaks at a meeting at the Brandon Community Centre in an attempt to gain support for his party which is fielding candidates in most seats in Norfolk and Suffolk in the upcoming local council elections.

In his spring conference address over the weekend, Mr Farage claimed his willingness to talk about immigration was one of the main reasons for the party’s surge in popularity.

11 comments

  • Import cheap labour (to vote labour) and force wages down, by paying the immigrants peanuts (because their real pay is the chance of a UK passport) ... nice. No wonder plutocrat conservatives and new labour sing as one. But what about all the ordinary people? How can any young people get jobs?

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    Roger Pearse

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Same old story, blame everything on Labour. Er, you've had almost 3 years to sort this out Dave & what have you done? Nothing. Also, don't let the facts get in the way of a good piece of rhetoric eh? Only 6% of the 2 million Poles resident in the UK claim benefits.

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    Ipswich Red

    Monday, March 25, 2013

  • While I'm at it, lets remind everybody who took us into the UNEconomic European Common Market.......and sign us up to allow 'free' immigration ?......why the TORIES !

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    freedomf

    Monday, March 25, 2013

  • Immigration grew under the previous Tory governments as well but Cameron didn't mention that. The biggest elephant in the room is the EU. As Cons are firmly wedded to the EU our sovereign policing of immigration is very limited. It was just hot air by Dave who is clearly worried about the shift of votes to UKIP in the past year.

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    Steve Blake

    Monday, March 25, 2013

  • I'm tired of these statements about welcoming 'hardworking immigrants'. It's just a ploy by the Government to make us all work harder by competing against each other. Where will it end? Surely there's more to life than hard work.

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    justmyopinion

    Monday, March 25, 2013

  • Hi all workers! Cameron need to focus on the real problems. Where I live, the brittish don't (want to) work; everybody are "benefits"-"chavs" (social context!!!). Cameron has a very poor marketing. an - "immigrant" - toilette assistent

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    Immigrant

    Monday, March 25, 2013

  • Afraid the horse has bolted.

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    JOHN BURLS

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • MR CAMERON IS TALKING ABOUT 2014 ,DOES HE NOT REALIZE HOW MANY MIGRANTS CAN ARRIVE BETWEEN THEN.POOR OLD TAX PAYERS STILL SUFFERING.I AM 78 AND STILL GETTING TAX FORMS,I AM HAVING A LETTER BOX FITTED TO MY GRAVE STONE.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Monday, March 25, 2013

  • Isn't 'Hindsight' a wonderful thing !, pity none of us including Cameron have it as 'foresight' !, just something to get at and blame Labour with ! What ever you say or do Cameron between now and the now and the next election will not make the slightest bit of difference, your going to be 'history' !

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    freedomf

    Monday, March 25, 2013

  • Hi all workers! Cameron need to focus on the real problems. Where I live, the brittish don't (want to) work; everybody are "benefits"-"chavs" (social context!!!). Cameron has a very poor marketing. an - "immigrant" - toilette assistent

    Report this comment

    Immigrant

    Monday, March 25, 2013

  • So typical of Cameron that he decides to pander to the racists with this nonsense rather than take them on with the facts. EU law already says that people from other EU states only have the right to stay her for more than three months as long as they're working, studying or self-sufficient. So economically-inactive migrants are ALREADY the responsibility of their home countries. Take on UKIP by exposing their lies Mr Cameron, not by REPEATING their lies.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Monday, March 25, 2013

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