towards migrants that have demonised them and have wrongly
portrayed them as responsible for problems caused by the failure of
successive Governments like the housing crisis, low wages and the
lack of social cohesion in too many communities.
Conference believes that:
I. Liberal Democrats should continue to champion migration
policies that put our national interest first, treat migrants and
seekers of asylum with dignity and courtesy and expose the
flawed arguments of people seeking to exploit concerns that
people do have about immigration.
II. Our goal should be a positive, liberal consensus on immigration,
partly by rebuilding people's trust in the system, and that
this requires us to listen and engage with those who do link
pressures on public services and housing to immigration and to
reject the argument that merely labels such people as racist.
Conference further believes that Conservative immigration policies
have failed even in their own terms and have broken the Home
Office and the UK's immigration system by:
A. Pursuing their ill-conceived target of reducing net migration to
the "tens of thousands", which has simultaneously eroded public
faith in the UK's immigration system and damaged the country
by preventing people with valuable skills, like doctors and nurses,
coming to work here.
B. Making a "hostile environment" for migrants, resulting in severe
hardship for many people and targeting people who have every
right to be in the UK, including British citizens.
C. Developing a visa system that is bureaucratic, costly to
administer and expensive for employers, universities and
applicants to use.
D. Increasing hostility in their rhetoric on immigration that has
polluted public dialogue and made it harder for communities to
Conference regrets the result of the European referendum and
reaffirms the Liberal Democrats' commitment to give the British
people the final say on the Brexit deal, with the option of remaining
in the EU and preserving the freedom of movement of goods, people,
Sunday 16 September
36 AGENDA AUTUMN CONFERENCE 2018