Queen's Speech: Immigrants face tougher rules


The Queen's Speech in full

A fresh attempt to curb immigration is the centre piece of the government's planned new laws, set out by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament.

Short-term migrants will pay for NHS care, landlords will be forced to check immigration status and illegal migrants will not get driving licences.

Laws on cheap alcohol and monitoring web use were not among the 15 bills.

David Cameron said the package would boost recovery, but Ed Miliband said the coalition had "run out of ideas".

The Queen set out what the government plans to do over the next year amid the traditional pomp and ceremony of the state opening.

The Prince of Wales, joined by his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, attended the ceremony for the first time since 1996.

In a speech written for her by ministers, the Queen said her government's "first priority" remained cutting the deficit and strengthening Britain's economy.

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There is no sign that this is a prime minister and a deputy with an Alex Ferguson-like eye on life after the day job”

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But the government says it is also determined to do more to tackle illegal immigration and demonstrate that it is backing families who "want to work hard and get on".

The Queen said an immigration bill would aim to "ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute, and deter those who will not".

If passed, the bill would ensure illegal immigrants cannot get driving licences, and change the rules so private landlords have to check their tenants' immigration status.

UKIP surge

It would also allow foreign criminals to be deported more easily, as well as people who are in the UK illegally, after the government's repeated setbacks in its efforts to deport the radical cleric Abu Qatada.

Businesses caught employing illegal foreign labour would face bigger fines.

Migrants' access to the NHS would be restricted and temporary visitors would have to "make a contribution" to the cost of their care, either with their own money or through their government.

Asked on BBC Radio 4's The World at One whether this would mean GPs having to check patients' passports before agreeing to treat them, Business Secretary Vince Cable said "checks of various kinds" were one option being considered but the details had yet to be finalised.

Business Secretary Vince Cable: "People who come into the country overwhelmingly make a positive contribution"

The planned immigration crackdown follows a surge in support for UKIP, which campaigns for a reduction in net migration, but ministers insist the measures had been decided before last week's local election results.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the immigration measures were the "centre piece" of his government's plans for the year ahead, as they "go right across government".

He told MPs: "Put simply, our immigration bill will back aspiration and end the legacy of the last government, where people could come here and expect something for nothing."

Downing Street said it could not promise the new laws would come into effect before work restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians are lifted in January.

The prime minister's spokesman said there was a "determination to do this thoroughly". There will be a consultation on new responsibilities for private landlords and a separate one on migrants' access to the NHS, with the emphasis on systems to ensure people "pay what they should".

Other measures announced in the Queen's Speech include:

Ofsted-style ratings for hospitals and care homes will be introduced and a new chief inspector of hospitals given more powers, in response to the Mid-Staffordshire health scandal.

Another bill would increase supervision and drug testing of offenders after release from jails in England and Wales and open up the Probation Service to private competition in an effort to cut reoffending rates.

'Snooper's charter'

There was no place in the Queen's Speech for proposals to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes or legislation on minimum alcohol pricing, although Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has insisted both plans are still under consideration.

Demands by some Conservative MPs for legislation paving the way for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU were ignored, as were calls from charities to enshrine in law David Cameron's pledge to spend 0.7% of national income on foreign aid.

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A no-answers Queen's Speech from a tired and failing government”

End Quote Ed Miliband Labour leader

The Queen's Speech had also been due to include a communications data bill, dubbed a "snooper's charter" by opponents, which would have allowed the monitoring of UK citizens' online and mobile communications.

But the plans were blocked by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on civil liberties grounds, despite warnings the legislation was needed to help detect terror plots.

The government is now considering forcing internet service providers and mobile phone companies to store more data about the devices used for emails, Skype calls and other messages to help police identify the sender, if necessary.

The Home Office had previously rejected this option, which may not need new legislation to implement, on technical and cost grounds.


Giving his response to the government's package, Labour leader Ed Miliband said it would do nothing to boost growth, cut youth unemployment or tackle rising living costs.

"You are not dealing with the problems of the country," he told the prime minister.

Farage: Queen's speech designed to tell UKIP voters, "Don't worry, we're dealing with things"

"No wonder this Queen's Speech has no answers. Three wasted years, today another wasted chance. A no-answers Queen's Speech from a tired and failing government.

"Out of touch, out of ideas, standing up for the wrong people and unable to bring the change the country needs."

Mr Miliband accused Mr Cameron of caving in to vested interests and his own backbenchers by ditching planned legislation on plain cigarette packaging, a communications bill on media monopolies and a statutory register of lobbyists. He said Labour would be willing to back these measures if the PM wanted to get them through Parliament.

On immigration, he said Labour would "look at" the government's proposals but would also push for a crackdown on employers who flout the minimum wage and use "cheap" foreign labour - legal and illegal - to undercut wages.

Business lobby group the CBI welcomed progress on High Speed 2 but called for more investment in the existing transport network, adding that they wanted to see "delivery on the ground not time-consuming new bills that will have little or no impact before 2015".

The TUC said the government should have used the Queen's Speech to ditch its "failed austerity experiment" and "instead of making people work for longer the government should be focusing on creating more jobs".

SNP MP Angus Robertson said the speech, which included a commitment by the government to "continue to make the case for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom", demonstrated why it should be independent.

"The speech shows that Westminster isn't working for Scotland. Instead of boosting economic growth it is focusing on a lurch to the right politically," he said.

Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd welcomed proposals to reform the Welsh Assembly electoral system, but described the Queen's Speech overall as disappointing, as it showed "Wales remains far down Westminster's list of priorities".

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the planned immigration measures were aimed at reassuring UKIP voters but would be undermined by EU legislation.


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The Queen's Speech 2013

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  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Well the Daily Mail readers will be moderatly pleased.
    Landlords will now be doing Border control and Home office work without pay.
    And lots of people will have land compulsory purchased so some Brummie can get into London 20 minutes earlier.
    Does dave think this will be enough to stop the stab in the back that is on its way ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    As usual, lots of posturing about cracking down on immigration when we have no control over immigration from the EU.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    I am actually delighted with the responses given by the Queen subjects. But Scottish people who consider themselves not to be subjects will decide any referendum on whether we go for independance. A country ruled by the elected rather than being subjects of a pagan based hierarchy is a very good thing, if, the Scots go for it but I doubt if they still have the guts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    So anyone who isn't white now has to go through racial profiling for housing. Makes you feel welcome doesn't it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Labour,Conservatives,Liberal Dems same old rubbish !
    UKIP only will deliver what we need !

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    When British youngsters can't get a job in Britain, but East Europeans can, you know something is wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Totally uninspired Queen's Speech. Just shows that other than tinkering around the edges this govt has no idea what to do and the opposition is incredibly weak.

    How about a bill to address tax avoidance and simplify the system? A cap on private landlord's rent? Laws to protect consumers who use the trains or have to pay ever increasing increases in energy?

    More guff from the out of touch

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Totally irresponsible gesturing towards cultural and racial bigotry while entirely ignoring serious and far-reaching issues about our unsustainable level of population.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    From 15. Lemog:
    "I am looking forward to seeing the details of how this will be delivered."

    At the cost of landlords and everyone else who has to take responsibility because the govt won't. They'll just impose huge fines on anyone who fails to do what the govt demands they do. Rightwingers and libertarians should have been more careful what they wished for. Tear up the state at your peril!

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    When will people realise you're being diverted away from the real criminals.

    They are furiously targeting immigrants now, and making sure you all hear them say it over and over again.

    Funny how they will do nothing about the banks, energy cartels and tax avoidance. Seriously anyone who buys this is a fool. Look up the ladder rather than down it because the pigs are truly at the trough!

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Far too little and far too late.We can only begin to control immigration when we leave the EU which will allow us to control our own borders.Also,we will then be rid of the ECHR which will cause Abu Qatada, along with many other foreign terrorists,murderers and drug dealers, sleepless nights. as we wave farewell to their "human rights" and deport them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    The plural would be more appropriate, immigration has been only loosely controlled over several Governments and was out of control under decade or so of the last Labour administrations and they invented the myth of it being a good thing.
    With the recession the effects are clear to see and belatedly something is being done but it's locking the stable door after the horse has bolted

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    @Hippies Are The Root Of All Evil

    "We don't want to restrict EU immigration. That's the point of the EU "

    We do want to restrict EU Immigration, ask any working person why they are not paid the rate we should be paid by bosses who see EU workers as cheap labour.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Illegal migrants, benefit cheats, the Royal family - what's the difference they all cost us money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    This is bad news for the country. Immigration is what we need to get this country back on track. The lazy Brits can't be trusted to do a day's work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    'Hippies Are The Root Of All Evil'

    I laughed.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Unfortunately, any effort to redress the problems created by mass immigration since 1946/47 is going to appear uncharitable/mean spirited. Can't be helped - it's got to be done. It's not as if the electorate haven't made their opinion perfectly clear for decades. & surely, *any* wannbe EU migrant should have a job & accommodation waiting & enough money to support themselves while they settle?

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    7.Hippies Are The Root Of All Evil
    "intuition of many people who know nothing about economics". That's one of the most ignorant posts ever. The majority of the people can differentiate between whats good for the economy and whats good for business. The two aren't necessary the same. Positive studies do not mention untangible and tangible costs

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    14 Alan. In my long experience it's the theists who do the moaning and screaming. All the atheists I know are educated, decent and interesting people.


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