Cooper confirms that Labour would scrap net migration target

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has confirmed that Labour would scrap the Tories’ target to get net migration below 100,000.

In 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron had pledged to get the annual figure down to “tens of thousands” before the next General Election.

But with just over seven months remaining until polling day, the Conservative Party has admitted it will now be difficult to meet the target.

Speaking at the Labour Party Conference last week, Mrs Cooper said that the policy had skewed the Government’s entire approach to immigration.

In particular she was concerned that the target did not draw any distinctions between different types of migrants, with overseas students, asylum seekers and low-skilled workers being treated as if they were all the same.

“We would not have a net migration target because choosing net migration to focus on is the wrong thing,” the MP told delegates in Manchester.

“We think immediately what should happen is that students, international university students, should be taken out of the net migration target straight away.

“What you should instead have is a series of different controls and targets for different kinds of immigration.”

However, Mrs Cooper also conceded that the last Labour government had made mistakes over its own immigration policy and said the party would press for radical reform of free movement within the EU.

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