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Update on the party’s immigration policy consultation

April 25, 2018 1:10 PM
By Adam Pritchard in Liberal Democrat Voice

Regular readers of this site will probably be aware that the Party has been consulting members about the development of new policy on immigration, refugees and identity.

As the chair of the working group, I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond to the consultation: we received around 100,000 words in written submissions and over 900 members responded to our online survey. The working group has been working through your responses and last Wednesday we met to discuss what you have told us and how it will inform the development of our policy paper on immigration.

About a month ago, an article by Lib Dem Immigrants on this site argued that the consultation document asked too many questions about detail and too few questions about questions of principle. I don't think this is exactly fair as the opening section of the consultation document asked exactly these kind of questions and none of the responding members felt constrained in the latter stages of the consultation providing comprehensive, robust and rich answers wherever they felt they were necessary.

However, the group is keen to encourage feedback from as many members as possible and it is important that all members have a full say in this process. It is clear that a number of members would like to have the opportunity to give their views to some different questions in order to fully articulate the broader strategy they would like the group to adopt going forward. To enable those members to do that, we are opening a second survey which contains broader questions of principle, including those that were requested by Lib Dem Immigrants:

Is it right that the state should be separating family members at all?

Is it the job of employers to be enforcing the immigration system?

Are there aspects of the current system of border control that lead to people being wrongly excluded, detained, or harassed?

How can we convey to the public that migration is not a significant pressure on public services? How can we avoid dehumanising migrants by treating them purely as economic units?

The working group will be meeting again at the start of May and we would like to be able to feed these responses in to that session. The full survey is available online here, please submit any responses by 1pm, Thursday 10 May.

* Adam Pritchard is the chair of the Party's Immigration and Identity Policy Working Group