2019 UK General Election and immigration: party manifestos explained

25 November 2019
UK Border control. Photo: Danny Howard, Creative Commons.

Immigration remains a polarising issue politically, sitting at the heart of debates about British identity, and the UK’s role globally. Yet since the 2016 EU referendum, the salience of immigration as a policy issue has dropped, as highlighted in ODI’s recent profile of public narratives and immigration in the UK.  

With Brexit still occupying the number one spot on the political agenda ahead of upcoming UK General Election on 12 December, it should come as no surprise that all major party immigration policies are shaped by their stance on EU membership. They are also all committed to learn from past mistakes, from the Windrush scandal to failing to deliver on net immigration targets.  

Where the policies do differ though is in relation to what a fit for purpose immigration system should look like to sustain the NHS, to attract talent to the British economy or to secure fair treatments in the workplace.   

So is the end of the ‘hostile environment’ in sight? With all major parties now having released their manifestos, Marta Foresti, Director of ODI’s Human Mobility Initiative, shares her take (via Twitter) on how each party's proposals on immigration stack up:  

The Conservative Party
The Labour Party
Liberal Democrats
The Green Party
Scottish National Party


Director ODI Europe
Marta is the Director of ODI Europe and she also leads our Human Mobility Initiative, managing the [...]