A l’approche des élections européennes qui se tiendront en mai, le parti anti-européen UKIP a de grandes chances de les remporter et ceci en s’appuyant sur une politique d’immigration stricte.
For Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, immigration has become the party’s main preoccupation. In fact, according to a recent study carried out in January 2014, by a market research organization Ipsos Mori, immigration is now Britons’ main subject of concern – for 41% of those surveyed – which is the same percentage as for the economy. How can it be accounted for?
First, the same old argument of the economic crisis combined with the rise of unemployment still strengthens the idea that foreign European workers steal jobs from the British.
Besides, since 2007, the EU membership of Bulgaria and Romania has created a sort of psychosis among Britons who fear massive floods of incoming workers. Mr Farage claimed in a recent speech that mass immigration has made Britain an “unrecognizable” country, and even that some areas of the UK are now “taken over” by foreigners. In fact, there was an increase of 30 per cent during 2013 in net migration to the UK, mainly thanks to the arrival of Southern Europeans.
So, according to Mr Farage, Britain must regain control of its borders that have been weakened by its EU membership.
Indeed, David Cameron’s government has been severely criticized lately for its immigration policy considered too gentle by many Britons. «The Tories should abandon their target to cut “net migration”, and concentrate on reducing the number of low-skilled migrants and addressing public concern over the impact of immigration on schools and health services», said former Defense and Health shadow secretary Liam Fox. This statement has to be taken very seriously by David Cameron and all the Tories for it reflects what an increasing number of Britons think about the government’s immigration policy, particularly in the former industrial heart of Britain, Manchester or Liverpool.
But for a while now, UKIP has imposed itself as the first alternative to conservatives and has used the dissatisfaction generated by their immigration policy as the smoking gun to lambast the government’s flawed policies. As a growing number of people now rejects the bipartisan system, UKIP has tried to become the third party in Britain and even wants to become one of the two biggest parties in the country (and challenge the Conservatives). Nigel Farage’s movement might be crowned with success in the next European elections (that will be held in May of this year) with this strategy of putting the stress on immigration…
Yasmine BEN YAHIA & Nathan DUFOUR