Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey has written to the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary, demanding that they publish the Government’s immigration white paper without any further delay.
In the letters, Davey writes that MPs “should be given plenty of time” to scrutinise the Government’s proposals for post-Brexit immigration before the meaningful vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. He says it would be “unacceptable to ask MPs to vote on that agreement without sufficient time to scrutinise those plans” and urges May and Sajid Javid to publish the white paper “without delay”.
In the House of Commons on Thursday, Davey asked the Prime Minister to “guarantee today that her immigration white paper will be published and debated before the meaningful vote on the deal”. May refused to give that guarantee, saying only that “We will publish the immigration white paper in due course.”
Ed Davey commented:
“Ministers promised to publish their immigration proposals more than a year ago, but we’ve had nothing but meaningless slogans.
“The Prime Minister is telling MPs to vote for her Brexit deal to end free movement, but refuses to spell out what that means. The answer is a lot more red tape for British businesses and a national shortage of NHS workers, carers and builders.
“The Liberal Democrats demand better. Theresa May must finally come clean and publish her immigration white paper now, so MPs can scrutinise the proposals before voting on her Brexit deal.”
A copy of Ed Davey’s letter sent to the Prime Minister yesterday is below:
I am deeply concerned that the Government’s White Paper on immigration still hasn’t been published, more than a year after it was originally promised.
You have repeatedly emphasised the importance that you attach to introducing new controls on immigration as part of the Government’s delivery of Brexit. I am sure you will therefore agree with me that the House of Commons should be given plenty of time to consider your proposals for post-Brexit immigration before deciding whether or not to approve the withdrawal agreement and the framework for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
It is regrettable that the Government has negotiated the future relationship without spelling out in detail – to Parliament or to the country – what it is seeking to achieve with regards to immigration. It would now be unacceptable to ask MPs to vote on that agreement without sufficient time to scrutinise those plans.
I therefore urge you to publish the White Paper now, without delay. Can you please confirm when it will be published, and tell me how long MPs will have to scrutinise the proposals before the meaningful vote on the Brexit deal takes place?
Rt. Hon. Sir Ed Davey MP
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson
Member of Parliament for Kingston and Surbiton
The transcript of Ed Davey’s question to the Prime Minister, and her response, is available here: