January 5, 2022 5.06 pm This story is over 27 months old

Lincolnshire MP speaks against non-EU immigration in Parliament

India trade deal involves immigration compromise

Gainsborough MP and Brexiteer Sir Edward Leigh questioned Prime Minister Boris Johnson about immigration and visa controls during a debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

He said he thinks a free trade deal with India is valuable in itself, but that “we should not be held to ransom” over visas and immigration.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in reply that “net immigration since we took back control has gone down”.

Edward Leigh said: “Apparently the government is thinking of relaxing visa controls from India in order to get a free trade deal. Whilst a free trade deal is valuable in itself we should not be held to ransom.

“Would he agree with me that our new working class voters who voted Brexit did not vote to replace immigration from Europe with more immigration from the rest of the world, any more than when they were told that they would take back control we would lose control of the channels?

“Will he convince us that he’s determined to connect to our supporters and control immigration?”

The PM said: “I don’t recognise the account he’s (Edward Leigh) given at all. We don’t do free trade deals on that basis and I can tell him actually that net immigration since we took back control has gone down, Mr Speaker.”