DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg today saw first hand the support for the Daily Express’s crusade to block a new wave of eastern European migrants coming to work in Britain from January 1.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR PETITION NOW
During his weekly Call Clegg phone-in show on LBC Radio, the studio was bombarded with messages of support for the campaign.
Even before the Deputy Prime Minister took to the airwaves, thousands of listeners had contacted the studio demanding to know why Britain was dropping labour market controls that would allow in migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria in the New Year.
And also today, David Cameron’s official spokesman said the Prime Minister agreed this should not happen, but said there was little that could be done. CHECK.
On the Call Clegg show, host Nick Ferrari, a Sunday Express columnist, pushed the Deputy Prime Minister on how many migrants from two countries the Government expected to come.
“Is Britain full up and fed up?” Mr Ferrari asked.
Mr Clegg was unable to give an estimate, but added: “I certainly don’t want to deny people’s concern.
“Absolutely, it’s palpable. A lot of people have raised it with me.”
One caller asked Mr Clegg: “What is the government is actually going to do about immigration? “Could we have a straight answer as to why the loophole hasn’t been closed down, why the numbers have not been reduced, what is actually going on? What are Brussels not allowing you to do?”
Mr Clegg replied: “What I want to see is an immigration system that means that we are open to people that come to this country, that want to help out and want to work, and want to pay their taxes, want to play by their rules. Our public services depend on people coming to this country.
“The NHS would collapse overnight if we simply pulled up the drawbridge, and we should continue to give British citizens the freedom to go, as they do actually in very large numbers, to live elsewhere.
“So you can’t suddenly just put up a barrier but it’s got to be done in a way which is administratively competent and that people have confidence in.”
It’s not fair for the British people, it’s not fair on the schools, hospitals and other services which have to try and cope.
Speaking to the Daily Express after the show, Mr Ferrari said 95 per cent of the thousands who contacted his show were supportive of the Daily Express’s crusade.
That view was born out by the thousands who logged on to the Express Online today to sign the petition as it went live.
Mr Ferrari said: “The moment we talked about it the issue, the calls started flooding in.
“People are concerned about the sheer level of migration.
“It’s not fair for the people coming if they think they are going to be able to put together a great life here.
“It’s not fair for the British people, it’s not fair on the schools, hospitals and other services which have to try and cope.”
Mr Ferrari said one caller on the show described how in her daughter’s primary school class only had three English-speaking children, which placed a real strain on teaching staff.
Other people who contacted the show in support of the Daily Express crusade included Julian, who said: “What I don’t like is the fact that no-one has given us the choice on immigration. We have simply not had a say on it.”
Another message, from Brett in Chiswick, said: “Here’s a really simple idea I just had…. Treat Britain like a car park, find out its maximum capacity and when it’s full (which I believe it is now) we close the barriers?? Sign reads ”Great Britain Full”. How’s that?”
The Daily Express crusade was put to David Cameron’s official spokesman this morning, who said the Prime Minister wanted net migration to come down.
His spokesman said: “The Prime Minister’s view is that it was right to have the transitional controls.
“His view is that it was mistake not to have had them for a previous round of accessions. But obviously they are transitional controls and they do come to an end.
“Certainly the Prime Minster would say that more widely we need to bring net migration down and we have a policy as a government of doing that, including reforms to ‘pull factors’ and that’s what the Government is doing.”
Pressed to confirm this meant there were no plans to extend the controls, the spokesman said: “The restrictions are transitional in the way I described.”
CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR PETITION NOW
See on www.express.co.uk