On 5 September, the National Committee of the Labour Party’s youth wing, Young Labour, voted unanimously to send the following motion to Labour Party conference. For the motion on the same issue that YL submitted to conference last year, see here.
Migration and free movement: an agenda of hope and solidarity
Conference notes the free movement debate. On 16 August the Government’s Northern Ireland position paper showed difficulties in restricting free movement in Northern Ireland. On 24 August, ONS reported EU migration had fallen by 51,000. On 26 August, Labour proposed a transitional Brexit deal, including free movement.
Stagnating wages, crumbling services and the housing crisis were caused by government and employers making the rich richer at working people’s expense – not immigration.
We need massive public funding to ensure good jobs, homes, services and benefits for all; scrapping of anti-union laws and stronger rights so workers can push up wages and conditions; and communities uniting across divisions to win changes.
Labour is the party of all workers, regardless of where they were born. We note many struggles where migrants have been central to improving low-paid workers’ wages and rights, like the recent victorious cleaners’ campaign at LSE.
Free movement benefits all workers. Without it, migrants are more vulnerable to hyper-exploitation, making downward pressure on wages more likely. Limiting it would damage the economy and hit living standards.
Britain and the EU should welcome migration across Europe and from beyond.
In government, we should maintain and extend free movement; scrap the net migration target; strengthen refugee rights; dismantle the brutal anti-migrant regime built over decades; abolish immigration detention centres; ensure the right to family reunion; end use of “no recourse to public funds”; end use of landlords and health workers as border guards; and reverse attacks on migrants’ access to the NHS.