First, UKIP doesn’t exclusively. Visit UKIP.org and see the policies we have on a wide range of policy areas.
Second, I do because, other than financial affairs (The City, UK financial services), it’s my brief as UKIP’s migration’s spokesman to discuss both immigration and emigration to and from the United Kingdom.
Third, because of UKIP’s rise as a significant party in UK Politics there is a lot of pent up demand to discuss a topic that UKIP has put fair and square on the political agenda and which people have been afraid to discuss in the past for fear of being branded 'racist'. For example, hardly a day goes by when I am not asked for a comment from a media outlet that is covering this subject or something connected or underpinned by it.
Take UK benefits. UKIP has never said all immigrants are ‘benefit scroungers’. That is not only not true but offensive to the many immigrants who come here legally and make a fine contribution to our society. But some immigrants abuse our benefits system. Over the weekend, I was contacted by channel 5 TV to comment on an upcoming programme showing that Roma benefits claimants can get £60,000 in 3 years to build a house in southern Romania. Surely, this is further proof of the national scandal of the abuse of our benefits system caused by our open door migration policy within the European Union. It is also something I am obliged and want to speak up about.
Criminal elements breeze into Britain with no intention to work and then scam the system. Who can blame UK citizens who are struggling or have had benefit cuts, from being angry at the government for failing to stop this? People like the Roma’s interviewed bragging that they can easily cheat the system are the cause of the rising anger and prejudice towards immigrants.
Like the vast majority of British people, those immigrants who genuinely come to work and contribute to our society are also rightly angry at such abuse and support our calls to change the system now. The Prime Minister’s claims that he can tinker with the system to prevent this is merely is pie in the sky politics. We should ban all benefits to immigrants until they have contributed to society through taxation for at least 5 years. Until we do, British taxpayers will be building homes abroad instead of helping the needy here.
And while I am having my ‘say’, what about the importance of migration to the Autumn Statement? According to the official projections used to produce the numbers behind this piece of George Osborne theatre, UK net migration will continue to rise next year (from the 260,000 this year) despite the Prime Minister’s pledge to reduce this number to 100,000 over the course of this parliament. This, in of itself, has enormous implications for planning and financing our public services. As an Emeritus Prof of Economics at Cambridge University said this year: "Unrestrained population growth would eventually have a negative impact on the standard of living through its environmental effects such as overcrowding, congestion and loss of amenity.” The police, Home Office and NHS staffs across the country have already reflected on this fact.
So the short answer to the question “Why do you and UKIP always talk about immigration?” is:
Because migration is a really important topic that impacts so many things in how we are governed in this great country.