News / Europe

Britain Plans to Tighten Immigration Rules

Britain Plans to Tighten Immigration Rulesi
X
May 08, 2013 6:45 PM
The British government has announced plans to tighten immigration rules. The news came in the annual speech by Queen Elizabeth to mark the formal opening of Parliament. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Al Pessin
— The British government has announced plans to tighten immigration rules. The plans were revealed in Queen Elizabeth's annual speech to mark the formal opening of parliament.

In a ceremony packed with symbolism, the monarch delivered her 60th consecutive Queen’s Speech to a joint meeting of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The eight-minute speech covered a broad range of issues, focusing on continuing efforts to stimulate economic growth and reform health care and welfare services. 

But the lines that received the most attention promised an effort to make it more difficult for immigrants to come to Britain.

“My government will bring forward a bill that further reforms Britain’s immigration system," Queen Elizabeth said. "The bill will ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and deters those who will not.”

Immigration has been an increasingly prominent issue in Britain, focused particularly on people from new member-nations of the European Union. A growing movement to force a British withdrawal from the Union is based largely on such concerns. 

But the co-director of the Immigration Research Unit at University College London says the concerns are mostly exaggerated.

“The overall effect of migration is broadly neutral," said Professor John Salt. "It has increased the size of the UK economy. It has had various beneficial effects in terms of providing labor where there are shortages. There is no hard evidence that unemployment among the indigenous population has worsened.”

According to Salt, immigration can affect youth unemployment, and put pressure on housing and land use over time. But he says immigrants do not overburden the welfare system as some activists claim.

The Queen’s Speech also touched on foreign affairs, with the British government promising to fight terrorism and sexual violence in war, support countries in transition in the Middle East, and help advance the fledgling peace process in Afghanistan. 

As president of the Group of Eight industrialized countries this year, the government says it will promote free trade, government accountability and efforts to fight climate change.

The government also pledged to protect residents of the Falkland Islands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas and claims as its own. The two countries fought a war over the islands 31 years ago. 

In Wednesday’s speech, the British government pledged to allow residents of all British overseas territories to determine their own political future. In a referendum in March, Falkland Islanders voted almost unanimously to remain a British territory.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid