Nick Ferrari At Breakfast is Leading Britain's Conversation.
8 May 2017, 17:57
Iain told Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi that the ‘tens of thousands’ target was unachievable and a ploy to attract Ukip voters.
Zahawi appeared on Iain Dale’s drive time show to defend his party’s decision to maintain a pledge to reduce net immigration to the ‘tens of thousands’ - a pledge it has failed to meet since adopting it in 2010.
Iain pointed out that net immigration had been well above the party's target and it wasn't because of the EU.
"In the last year, 185,000 people have come into this country, net, from outside the EU. Now you do control borders from outside the EU, so why have you let 185,000 non-EU citizens in?"
The MP for Stratford-on-Avon suggested the economy needs more people working.
"So if the economy needs that, the tens of thousands target is absolute balderdash, isn't it?" Iain suggested.
Zahawi said that British-born workers would be trained up to meet the economy’s needs “over a period of years”.
“How many?” Iain asked.
“Targets are tough.” Zahawi said.
“How many?” Iain pressed.
“I can’t tell you exactly.” Zahawi admitted.
“Well exactly.” Iain said. “Why make this promise for the next five years when you know you can’t meet that target?”
Watch the full interview below where Iain says the immigration pledge is designed to attract more Ukip supporters and Zahawi insists Theresa May doesn't rely on soundbites: