According to Nata'lie Abraha'mova' in her paper on Immigration Policy in Britain, "Since the 1940s Britain has transformed from almost all-white society into a multicultural one, despite the fact that the government particularly in the 1960s and 1970s attempted to hinder it. Most notably the black and Asian populations from the former colonies have changed the face of Britain irreversibly." The British Tory policy has historically been to slow down immigration.
David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, and prior to taking office as Prime Minister in 2010 "promised to cut the levels of migration because of an unsustainable pressure on the country's public services and infrastructure." In a series of speeches earlier in 2015, Cameron promised crackdowns on illegal and non-EU immigration to the country.
Is Cameron in the minority on the issue of immigration?
In an article published in March of this year on the Tories and their relationship to new immigrants, The Spectator wrote, "For a long while, the Conservatives have been puzzled about their lack of popularity among immigrants. In theory, the Conservative party should be the natural home of new voters who are ambitious, entrepreneurial, hard-working and family-orientated. The immigrant vote -- to the extent it can be considered a coherent block at all -- ought to be fertile Tory territory. By and large, these are families who have moved to Britain to get ahead and to avail themselves of what Michael Howard called 'the British dream'."
However, The Spectator noted, "Yet at the last election fewer than one in five ethnic minority voters endorsed Conservative candidates and the party is [was] unlikely to fare much better in May." Meanwhile, "Lord Bates, a Home Office minister, exacerbated the problem... by suggesting that immigrants were having too many children. He cited the well-known statistic that a quarter of British births are to immigrant mothers -- then added, 'That is why we need to reduce immigration.'"
The Telegraph, meanwhile, claimed, "Most Tories are actually in favour of immigration according to a new report by Bright Blue, a left-of-centre Conservative think-tank, with voters wanting a well-managed immigration system rather than barring migrants from the UK altogether."
Bright Blue "warned that pursuing aggressive policies towards migrants coming to the UK risked putting off ethnic minority Tories who 'will be an important part of the Conservative Party's support base in the years ahead'."
Bright Blue argues on its website, "Various studies have shown that immigration generally has a net fiscal benefit, drives innovation and growth and can be culturally enriching. Britain has a long and proud history since before the First World War of being a home for refugees. It is important that divisive messages and counter-productive policies do not undermine the benefits which immigration brings. Of course, however, effective policies that address the challenges that immigration brings need implementing."
Such a new center-right coalition advocated by Bright Blue "calls for a positive and balanced centre-right agenda on immigration -- with ideas for new policies and narratives - to ensure the benefits of immigration are maximised and the challenges are confronted."
One of the bodies of research from Bright Blue notes, "The Tories tended to be more opposed to the idea of immigration, but then developed 'positive views' of 'their experiences with immigrants they know'...Only a small proportion of Conservatives - just five per cent of those surveyed -- had 'lost a job or seen a fall in wages because of inflation'...."
Meanwhile, Cameron's newest policies and proposed rules are being rejected by the health industry as the UK relies heavily on foreign-born nurses and training of nurses takes time. The Financial Times also reports that EU courts are also all ready to reject the UK's newest benefit-access restrictions targeted against immigrants. Finally, Cameron has recently had to state to the EU community and the world as of September 2015 that the UK will fulfill its responsibilities to accept the growing swell of refugees from the Middle East and Asia. (As a historical note, Thatcher, too, had had to acquiesce to receiving thousands of Vietnamese boat peoples in the first years of her administration.)
This week, The Telegraph, wrote the following headliner, "Current limits on immigration are anti-family and un-Conservative: Arbitrary restrictions on British citizens bringing their spouses to the UK are breaking up families and costing us money." The Telegraph is holding the PM to his election promises of 2010, when Cameron declared that his aim was to make "the UK the most family-friendly country in the world".