Your last chance to help us build a liberal immigration policy

There’s been a bit of a confusion over the last dates to respond to the policy consultations that the party is running at the moment.

The policy papers themselves give Friday 31st March 2018 as the final date. However, you haven’t missed the boat as the party website says we have until 4th April.

This is just as well, as I have left my response to the 67 questions of the immigration paper until the last minute as usual. I have to say that the consultation paper is one of the most profoundly depressing things I have ever read. When I read some of the questions out to my husband, he started to understand why I was swearing so much as I was answering them. Lib Dem Immigrants laid out some of their concerns with it here.

As I said here, this is a paper that needs to get it self out of the shadow of the Daily Mail. The right wing press and the likes of Nigel Farage didn’t get to the position of influence they have today by being subtle. I shouldn’t have to say that we mustn’t pander to them.

There are two other policy papers which need your input by Wednesday – one on tuition fees and one on power for people and communities. After the deadline, the working group will reflect on your submissions and draw up their final proposals for debate at Conference in September. We’ll find out the details of the proposals round about the beginning of August. Watch this space for more details.

While I might complain bitterly about the content of the immigration paper, I still think it’s amazing that all 100,000 ish members of the party get to have their say on policy. We are by far the most democratic party and it’s important that we all take time out to have our say.

So I will be spending my Easter weekend cheering on Willie, writing my submission and, when I need to calm down, watching the episodes of the BBC Bake Off which arrive on Netflix today.

Happy Easter to all of you.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • David Evershed 31st Mar '18 - 11:19am

    Under the current EU rules the UK differentiates against immigrants from Africa, Asia and South America in favour of mainly white people from Europe.

    Hopefully outside of the EU such racial discrimination will no longer apply in the UK. A points system based on needed skills plus a suitable asylum system would seem fairest.

  • David: a points based system can be made much harsher by incoming illiberal governments.
    Just let people stay.

  • Richard Underhill 31st Mar '18 - 12:06pm

    In 1939 the Daily Mail Compositors and Readers Chapel (Manchester) gave £7 to the Lord Baldwin Fund “to help refugees to Britain” [1939 The World We Left Behind, Robert Kee, Sphere Books]. “Chapel” in the prints implied a trade union branch and therefore independent of the policy line of the newspaper.

  • David, if you want the system to be fair, why not raise us non-EU immigrants up to the level EU citizens are currently at, rather than dragging them down to our horrible one?

  • On Topic.
    I would like to add my voice to those objecting to the whole tone of the Survey but Im not going to be filling it out myself.
    If The Party are serious about wanting to involve a significant minority of Members in developing policy then dont send out surveys with 67 detailed questions. Any surveys should have 4 or 5 questions on General principles only & they should be publicised. I only heard about this survey because of Carons first article on it.
    Theres a big difference between genuinely trying to involve those Members who are open to being involved & making empty gestures towards involvement.

  • Paul, please do write a submission to this effect. You don’t have to answer the questions, and the more resistance there is to this illiberal mess, the better chance we have of getting good something fit for purpose.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 31st Mar '18 - 2:46pm

    Agreement here on method very poor, too many questions, too late, too cumbersome.

    We need to be more prepared as a party to criticise those who work in and for governments. Policies on detention and deportation are based on decisions by parties. Implementing those is by people who work for governments.

    Too many times, those charged with responsibility , whether contracted out or those who are direct employees, many and senior too, are a disgrace. Job Centre Plus or Atos, nurses , doctors, doing assessments, too much praise for professions , rather than appraisal of unprofessionalism.

    Scrutiny is Liberalism in action.

    The Home Office have staff who are a travesty, and systems that are even worse. These are delivered and designed by so called professionals, not by politicians. Secure and well paid or not, there is no excuse for the inhumane treatment, recently of people who have been here for decades, made to feel like criminals due to basic paperwork not available.

    We, as in the doctors strike, should stand for the cause of individuals , not groups,, or of groups, who are put upon, not the well placed and powerful when they are wrong.

    The Conservatives have no clout here as they are the recent government with responsibility. Labour are in the pockets of unions and many public unions would never immediately admit how poor some of their staff are.

    We are independent and should promote compassion for people , and for professionalism, not professionals when they are showing they are far from it.

  • I have been working on my submission for days and have been giving it a huge amount of attention over the last four days. I hope to submit my comments today. At the moment it is over 25 pages long. I couldn’t find question 48. If anyone has, please let me know what page it is on?

  • Thank you for the reminder Caron!

  • Andrew Daer 2nd Apr '18 - 10:21am

    Can I point out that people who have taken the time to read this blog probably have some thoughts about immigration to contribute, and ought not to be put off by the 67 questions?
    The document is laid out in a very readable form, and the questions are relevant to each section. 67 is not too many – this is a complicated policy area. I wasn’t able to answer every question, but as far as I am aware, that won’t mean my other answers won’t be looked at.

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