Farage promises a less negative approach to immigration debate

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said that his party needs to be more positive about the issue of immigration.

The party has previously been very vocal in its criticism of the existing immigration system and said there needs to be tighter controls on Britain’s borders.

Only last week, one UKIP member suggested that the number of people coming to live in Britain was putting real strain on infrastructure and resources.

Steven Woolfe, the party’s migration spokesman, said: “Schools are full, hospitals are troubled, healthcare – it is difficult to be seen in many areas of this country.

“We need to look after the way we feed ourselves because we’re a growing population. What about our water and sewage systems? All of these matter.”

Mr Farage struck a more conciliatory tone when he addressed delegates in Margate a few days later, aware that this sort of rhetoric might be damaging the party’s prospects.

New research by ComRes and ITV found that 44 per cent of people think UKIP is racist, while 37 per cent would describe the party as “nasty.”

These findings may have been playing on Mr Farage’s mind when he made his plea for positivity.

“Everything about our campaign is going to be positive because we believe in Britain,” he said.

UKIP’s immigration policies include introducing a points-based visa system, similar to the one in force in Australia, and time-limited work permits. In addition, proof of private health insurance would be a precondition for immigrants and tourists to enter the UK.

New details were conspicuous by their absence last week, with policy chief Suzanne Evans acknowledging that the General Election manifesto would not be available for a few more weeks.

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