Your Voice, Your Vote – Somerset – How will the parties deal with immigration? – BBC Somerset

Your Voice, Your Vote – Somerset – How will the parties deal with immigration?

My full response (the recording was edited down by the BBC):

Immigration numbers are eye-wateringly high, so I understand the concern from our local residents. The Conservatives promised to bring down immigration, but they have woefully failed.

97% of immigration is, in fact, legal. This goes to show that, despite Brexit, it is Conservative policy which has proven a failure.

People coming over on boats is an issue. It’s heartbreaking that asylum seekers, including children, are losing their lives. For genuine cases, we need to treat people with compassion and speed up the processing. Lib Dems plan to significantly speed up the time people wait for asylum decisions. In Somerset there is currently no asylum advice legal professionals based here. This adds to the delays.

The government’s Rwanda policy is a complete waste of more than 500 million pounds of taxpayers’ money, to remove just 300 people. Is that value? It’s simply bad policy.

The Lib Dems will instead use that money to go after the people smugglers. We will set up a new unit of border enforcement and invest in training and tech that will help prevent people getting into the boats in the first place.

To bring down immigration, we should prioritise those we need for crucial sectors that rely heavily on migrants, such as social care and the NHS, and encourage better conditions and pay for British workers to fill those roles. Conservatives have cut budgets for workforce development, making this process difficult.

The immigration crisis is a result of Conservative failure to adequately invest in public services. It is why people struggle to see a doctor, a dentist and buy or rent a home.

Only the Lib Dem manifesto has the vision, ambition and deliverability to solve the problems our country faces.

The Lib Dems are offering the top seven most popular policies, according to a recent poll. At this election, we need more Lib Dem MPs to hold the next Government to account and bring through our policies, to deliver a brighter future for Britain.

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