'Society has been enriched by migration': Jeremy Corbyn does not accept that the UK is 'damaged' by migrants

27 May 2023, 16:00

Jeremy Corbyn says society 'enriched' by migrants

By Grace Parsons

Jeremy Corbyn dismisses the rhetoric that society has been "damaged" by migrants, instead saying that the NHS "wouldn't work" without migration.

With Rishi Sunak facing Tory backlash after net migration reaches a record high, Jeremy Corbyn told Matt Frei that society is "enriched" by migration and the health service would be non-existent if it wasn't for migrants.

The former Labour leader said: "I think we have to recognise that the refugees that are arriving from Calais are desperate, desperate people who are coming from war zones that we've often been involved with and you have to look at the reasons behind that and do whatever one can to try and help people develop their societies at the point of source.

"The wider issue of much, much larger numbers of migration into this country is an important debate.

"We have at the moment 100,000 vacancies in the NHS, we have tens of thousands of vacancies in the care sector, we have crops rotting in the fields because nobody's available to pick them and we have record numbers of job vacancies around the country."

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Mr Corbyn continued: "If there isn't migration into this country then the NHS wouldn't work without migrants and it would absolutely stop if there weren't others coming in. So, I think we have to recognise that the economic needs are enormous.

"If you go to any NHS facility, you're going to be treated by people from all over the world, and you'll get fantastic treatment and care from them. Without migration we wouldn't have a health service."

Matt cut in: "The government of course know this, which is why they've been bringing in migrants from other parts of the world - outside the EU...

"They know this is happening, I just wonder if there's a way of combining it all and saying this economy needs more people, let's try and organise the flows of people coming in... to make sure that we can have some agency over who comes onto this island."

The Independent MP responded: "Don't allow ourselves to descend into the awful rhetoric that our society is ruined, or damaged, or whatever language is used, by migration. Actually our society has been enriched by migration."

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