Immigration is important to Britain, and to Greater Manchester. We are a proud melting pot of heritages, from the Irish families who first made their homes here in the 1840s, to the Eastern European Jewish communities who joined us from the 1890s, to the Bangladeshi women and men who came here to contribute from the 1960s.

Each fresh heritage breathed life into our culture, our favourite foods, our public services and our economy. It is because of, not despite, these proud inheritances that we must put due reflection into getting our immigration system right. So that whether you are born here or drawn here, a fair and carefully managed system means our economy works for everyone.

Under the Tories, migration to the UK has hit record highs. Every time the Conservatives have faced a choice between raising skills and working conditions here in the UK or just issuing more visas, they choose easy option.Net migration has more than tripled in the four and a half years since the last General Election alone. A growing asylum backlog sees the UK spending a mind-boggling eight million pounds a day to housing people in hotels.

As an unsubtle smokescreen to disguise his lack of a grip on the system, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has fumbled his way to a Rwanda Law which is little more than a pricey gimmick. It will cost two million pounds for every per person removed; more than half a billion pounds for just 300 people. Over 30,000 people entered the UK in small boats last year. The Tories plan to tackle fewer than one per cent of arrivals.

Furthermore, two years into Operation Rwanda, no one has yet been sent to Rwanda. The politics of this policy may be transparent, but the economics are silly, and the execution is embarrassing.

Britain needs a mature, active and well-managed immigration policy.

Labour’s detailed plan will reduce the reliance on overseas workers; address home-grown skills shortages in sectors like social care; make sure migration policy and industrial strategy are intertwined; and crack down on rogue employers dodging the minimum wage. We will also crackdown on criminal smuggler gangs with a new Cross-Border Police Unit; end hotel use and employ more caseworkers to clear the asylum backlog; and update resettlement routes.

It’s time for an immigration system that works for workers, for businesses, and for the long-term needs of the British economy, and that keeps everybody safe. It’s time for competence, and for change.

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