We held 3 fringe meetings at the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats party conferences in 2013 with our partners Migration Matters Trust.
Liberal Democrats – Glasgow
Where is the Leadership going on immigration?
This meeting was a chance to discuss the opportunities for the Liberal Democrats to develop and deliver immigration reforms which can meet the party’s key objectives. At a challenging point for policy on both EU and non-EU migration, the meeting discussed how can the Lib Dems influence the public and political debate to better reflect progressive values? What should the key planks of a 2015 Lib Dem immigration manifesto be, and how would the party work to achieve these goals in a coalition government into the future?
Speakers: Andrew Stunell MP, Catherine Bearder MEP, Nick Thornsby (Lib Dem Voice), Don Flynn (Migrants Rights Network), Atul Hatwal (Migration Matters Trust)
Chair: Merlene Emerson (Ethnic Minority Lib Dems)
Labour – Brighton
One Nation and Immigration: Can Labour
reframe the immigration debate?
The coalition government has unrolled a series of reforms to immigration policy, generating accusations that it is jeopardising growth in key sectors and undermining UK trade relations into the future. This discussed how Labour can forge a different path on immigration. Can the Labour party develop an immigration policy which both supports economic growth and builds public confidence? What is the best way for the party to assert the continued need in the UK for the skills and contributions made by international students and workers here? And can Labour address wider cultural concerns also associated with immigration, in order to build a cohesive approach fit for One Nation Britain?
Speakers: Chris Bryant MP, John Mann MP, Tulip Siddiq (PPC, Hampstead & Kilburn), Margaret Burton (Deloitte LLP), Julia Onslow-Cole (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)
Chair: Alan Travis (The Guardian)
Conservatives – Manchester
How can we address public concern about migration while winning the global race?
This meeting debated whether government immigration policy, in pursuit of a reduction in net migration levels, is deterring talented individuals and companies from coming to the UK. It considered whether current restrictions on international students, workers and tourists are doing more harm than good to the prospects for growth in key sectors. And debarted how the UK can balance immigration controls with an eye to sustaining long-term relationships with other key trading partners such as India and China.
Speakers: Mark Harper MP (Minister of State for Immigration), Gavin Barwell MP, Vicky Ford MEP, Margaret Burton (Deloitte LLP), Rajesh Agrawal (RationalFX), Julia Onslow-Cole (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), Lance Kaplan (Fragomen LLP)
Chair: Alok Sharma MP (Vice-Chair, Conservative Party)