Details of Labour immigration policy to be set out ‘in due course’

Labour backs an immigration system that is about “fairness” and “justice”, according to the party’s shadow home secretary.

Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge programme, Nick Thomas-Symonds set out the “broad principles” of his party’s stance on immigration policy.

However, when asked whether the party supports the free movement of people continuing after the UK’s departure from the EU, Mr Thomas-Symonds did not directly answer the question.

He said: “Well, I think what we will be doing over the next few months and years coming… in setting out our immigration policy at the next general election is listening to the concerns of people.

“Whilst of course we’ll set out that detail in due course, I can set out some broad principles and I think, firstly, rights about living, working, studying in other countries are very important, they’re part of the internationalism that’s in Labour’s DNA.

“I think fairness is also going to be so, so important. We will never treat people as statistics in our immigration system, we will always treat them as people.

“Justice is important as well and it’s not some abstract principle, we’ve seen in the Windrush scandal what happens when we lose sight of that in our immigration system.”

Pressed again on whether the party is in favour of whether freedom of movement should continue, Mr Thomas-Symonds said: “We will always make the positive case for immigration and the great benefits that immigration has brought to our country.

“Firstly, we have left the European Union and the transition period will have ended by the time we get to the next general election.

“It will be this government that will have negotiated that new agreement with the European Union.

“We’re also going through the coronavirus crisis where vast parts of the world are in lockdown, you can’t even travel from one part of the world to another.

“So, we will, of course, be shaping our immigration policy around those events and those changes.”

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