Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 10 March 2016


I have had an interesting reaction to last week's article about immigration working well in Croydon. Several people have congratulated me on it, but not everybody. One gentleman e-mailed to say that he has shown it to his entire family and I have now lost 20 votes! Big family.

I receive more e-mails about immigration than any other subject, even though the ethnicity make-up of my constituency hovers around 99% British white. That is neither good nor bad, it is how it is. London has an ethnicity make-up of around 50%. That is also neither good nor bad, it is how it is. Many of them are third or fourth generation and are as British as you and I, even though they might be a slightly different colour, which some people still appear not to like. 

There is no country in the world, with the possible exception of North Korea, which does not now receive significant levels of immigration. Australia, which many constituents hold up as a model for us to follow, has a higher proportion of immigrant workers than we do. All European countries, the USA and Canada have an unending stream of people wanting to cross their borders: (a) as illegal immigrants, (b) to seek asylum or (c) to work. This is not going to change anytime soon.

Our response must be:
(a) to illegal immigrants – stop them coming in – apprehend the ones that do and send them home. That is what the UK government is doing, quite rightly.

(b) With asylum seekers, process them quickly, treating them at every stage as human beings, and if they are genuine make them welcome and if they are not (and the majority are not) send them from whence they came. This is what the UK government is doing. Last year we processed 20,000 asylum seekers and France had 50,000 and Germany 80,000. This is happening everywhere!

(c) With those coming here to work – accept them if there is work to do and deny them benefits if there is not. That is what the UK government is now doing. Whether we like it or not many of our industries would grind to a halt without immigrant workers: construction, hotels, restaurants and bars, the NHS and care homes to mention but a few.

Some people are still living in the land of Dixon of Dock Green. That world has gone. We are now in the age of Google-box.

posted by Gary @ 09:24