Former UK Immigration minister is not under investigation
The former immigration minister of United Kingdom Mark Harper, who hired an illegal immigrant to clean his flat in London is not under investigation announced the UK government on Sunday. The debacle with Mr Harper is a major embarrassment for Prime Minister David Cameron, who made the fight against illegal immigration one of the main points of his campaign for the 2015 parliamentary elections.
The scandal also raised doubts about the rationale behind the government decision to force employers and landowners to check the immigration status of their tenants and staff. The Labour Party which is currently in opposition said that the affair shows that the new rules for immigration control introduced by the Conservative coalition are inadequate and unrealistic.
Despite the scandal, the UK government announced that it will not change its immigration policy and the content of the immigration bill which will be voted in the Parliament remains the same.
The debate about the illegal immigration has become a major preoccupation for British politicians as the economic crisis and austerity policies raised the question of whether or not a large number of people that is coming from abroad is putting a strain on the public services and the labour market.
Both legal and illegal immigration in the UK surged during the last two decades especially after 2004 when former soviet block countries were accepted into the European Union. The current goal of the Conservative party is to reduce that number of net immigration to less than 100 000 people per year.
This is creating a fracture in the ruling coalition as the Liberal Democrats claim that this goal might be damaging for the UK economy. The prime minister has also faced criticism from Brussels over his stance on immigration, with Laszlo Andor, the European commissioner responsible for employment, social affairs and inclusion, saying the British government’s plans in this area risked presenting the U.K. as a “nasty” country in the European Union.