Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Queen's Speech vows immigration clampdown

08 May 2013, 15:17

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged a fresh clampdown on immigration in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, seeking to bolster his right-wing credentials and counter the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Measures to restrict migrants' access to healthcare and tackle illegal immigration form a central part of the speech, which sets out the British government's legislative priorities for the year.

The speech, written by coalition ministers and read out by Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords at a ceremony full of pageantry and historical symbolism, was drawn up before UKIP won a quarter of the vote in local elections last week.

But it reflects growing concern among Cameron's Conservatives and other major political parties about UKIP, which is capturing the populist vote with its strong anti-immigration, eurosceptic message.

"Our resolve to turn our country around has never been stronger," Cameron and his Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said in a foreword to the speech.

UKIP's rise has reignited the debate about Britain's place in the European Union, which on Tuesday saw the first public call by a senior Tory for an exit from the EU.

No honeymoon

The comments by Nigel Lawson, a former finance minister under Margaret Thatcher, have reinvigorated calls for Cameron to bring forward a referendum on EU membership planned for 2017.

It is against these pressures that Cameron and Clegg have drawn up this year's Queen's Speech, which they promised would help support the hard-working majority.

In a foreword, they admitted that the three years since they formed a government have not been easy.

The British economy is flatlining and austerity measures continue to bite, but they promised new measures to help small businesses and "people who work hard and want to get on in life".

"We know that Britain can be great again because we've got the people to do it. Today's Queen's Speech shows that we will back them every step of the way," they said.

An immigration bill will propose fines for landlords who rent homes to illegal immigrants and will restrict migrants' use of the free-to-access National Health Service (NHS).

Major political issue

The Queen's Speech takes place every year or so at the start of a new parliamentary session, and contains all the pageantry expected of a state occasion.

The monarch arrives at parliament in a horse-drawn carriage, dons a crown and sits on a throne to deliver the address to a House of Lords packed with peers clad in scarlet, gold and ermine robes, and suited lawmakers from the elected House of Commons.

Cameron came into office promising to dramatically reduce net migration, and claims to have already cut numbers by one third thanks largely to a tightening of the visa system.

But immigration remains a major political issue ahead of an expected fresh influx of eastern Europeans after the EU lifts work restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians in 2014.

UKIP has capitalised on public concerns, and a new YouGov poll published on Wednesday revealed the party had 16% of the vote, putting them in third place, ahead of Clegg's Lib Dems.

Cameron's promise to hold a referendum on the EU was intended in part to halt UKIP's rise, but he is now under pressure to bring the vote forward to before the next general election in 2015.

However, the premier said on Tuesday he would stick to his plan to renegotiate Britain's terms with Brussels and then put it to a vote.

"I want to give people a choice between Britain remaining in a reformed EU or leaving that EU. That is the choice that people want and there is only one way to get it and that is by supporting the Conservatives at the next election," he said.

Another YouGov poll on Wednesday found that 46% of voters would vote to leave the EU, and 35% would vote to stay.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...