27 Feb 2015

Nigel Farage: UK must adopt immigration points system

Addressing Ukip’s spring conference in Margate, party leader Nigel Farage says the UK must adopt the Australian-style points system to decide who should be able to settle in the country.

Mr Farage was seizing on net migration figures released on Thursday that showed nearly 298,000 people came into Britain in 2014 – almost treble David Cameron’s target.

Speaking at the Ukip spring conference in Margate, Mr Farage said: “Cameron said this government would reduce immigration into Britain to tens of thousands of people per year and that we should judge him on his record. Well the figures were really 300,000 a year.

“What Ukip have got to do is inject a positive vote into this debate. Only by divorcing ourselves from the Europe and by taking back control of our borders can we give the British people what overwhelmingly they would want to support, and we will campaign for this country to have an Australian points system.”

In Australia, migrants are required to answer a series of questions about their skills, for which they are awarded points. Applicants need at least 65 points or their request for a visa is rejected.

Ukip poll

Mr Farage received a boost at today’s pre-election conference, with a poll suggesting he is on track to become an MP.

Research by Survation for party donor Alan Bown put Mr Farage’s support in South Thanet at 39 per cent, ahead of Labour rival WIll Scobie on 28 per cent and Tory Craig Mackinlay on 27 per cent.

It is welcome news for Ukip after a series of surveys suggested its backing nationally had slipped. The party is hoping that the two-day gathering at the Winter Gardens in Margate, Kent, can restore its momentum.