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Sir Ed Davey Criticizes High Immigration Levels but Defends Liberal Democrat Policies Amid Accusations of Exacerbating the Issue



Sir Ed Davey has criticized the Conservative Party for not fulfilling their immigration promises, yet he denies that his policies would further complicate the situation, despite his favorable stance towards Europe.

Political correspondent @fayebrownSky

Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 12:

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Sir Ed Davey has stated that legal migration levels are "too elevated," yet he denies that his policies would worsen the problem.

During a discussion on Sky with Sophy Ridge, the leader of the Liberal Democrats criticized the Conservatives for significantly increasing immigration, labeling it as "a massive broken promise." He explained that this is contributing to widespread political disillusionment.

Election update: Stay informed on the latest developments as we approach election day.

He dismissed the allegation that his own initiatives, including stronger relations with Europe and a fresh EU Youth mobility program, would lead to higher immigration levels.

When questioned about his views on whether legal migration levels are excessively high, Sir Ed responded, "Yes, I believe they are. And you're correct in pointing out that immigration has more than doubled since our departure from the EU, which is in direct contradiction to what the Conservatives and Brexit supporters had pledged."

When questioned about his solution to the problem, he stated that his strategy to increase the minimum wage for care workers would lure "individuals presently employed at an Amazon warehouse or a supermarket" into the field, thus decreasing dependence on overseas workers.

"He criticized the Conservatives for not offering adequate wages, leading them to issue hundreds of thousands of health care visas as a means to boost legal immigration," he stated.

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"I've demonstrated an alternative method that makes that unnecessary."

Additional policies from the Liberal Democrats aim to overturn the prohibition that prevents care workers from bringing their family members to the UK, and to roll back the raised income requirements for family visas. These policies were initially implemented by the Conservative Party as a strategy to reduce overall net migration following record high numbers the previous year.

The leader, who supports Europe, aims to reintegrate into the Single Market and establish a fresh mobility agreement for young people with the EU.

Nonetheless, he refuted claims that he was making promises without the willingness to make tough choices.

He defended the youth mobility scheme, stating that it allows young individuals "to travel throughout Europe to engage in play, pursue education, and seek employment."

"Indeed, this implies that young individuals from EU countries might arrive here, which would benefit our universities and enhance our job market."

When queried on his stance towards high immigration despite supporting people's arrival, Sir Ed stated, "I believe the numbers have surged excessively under the Conservative rule… the figures have more than doubled since our departure from the EU, which represents a significant unfulfilled commitment. This is contributing to the growing disenchantment with politics.

"Many individuals who once supported the Conservative party now feel disappointed… They are seeking alternative parties capable of defeating the Conservatives, and in numerous regions, only the Liberal Democrats have that potential."

In another segment of the interview, Sir Ed dismissed a report from the IFS which claimed that his platform could lead to annual reductions of as much as £20 billion in departments not shielded by funding guarantees.

He acknowledged that the think tank was correct in criticizing the Conservatives for ruining our economy, although he admitted he had not reviewed their evaluation of his own party’s commitments.

"He asserted that their party is the sole group proposing a substantial fiscal policy involving taxation and expenditure."

Explore Further: Platform Review: Key pledges from major political groups. Understanding the Liberal Democrats: An overview of their agenda and policies.

Sir Ed shared his reasons for being open about his role as a caregiver, first for his mother who passed away when he was just 15, and now for his teenage son John, who has a disability.

A key theme of his campaign for office has consistently been highlighted, despite his reliance on eccentric publicity tactics to engage the electorate.

Sir Ed mentioned that upon becoming leader, he and his wife Emily believed it was his "responsibility" to discuss the matter, stating, "it's not just about us."

"He emphasized that the issue touches the lives of millions of families who are looking after their family members. He believes that many people will resonate with our experiences, and he considers caregiving to be a vital topic that needs to be addressed in the upcoming election," he stated.

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