“Realistically, we can’t continue to support this kind of level of immigration and build the better Britain we want.”
Sir John Hayes MP said immigration is leading to ‘irreversible changes’ to the country.
The easing of visa rules for foreign construction workers has been attacked by a former minister as “incompatible” with Government policies.
Sir John Hayes MP told GB News: “It is incompatible with the desire to drive down migrant numbers, but also in a way more fundamentally incompatible with our need to encourage more people to acquire those kinds of practical vocational technical skills. We want to build a workforce fit for the future…
“So if you introduce something like 600,000 people a year into the country, which is what we did last year, that is bound to change the shape of the country, but also put unfeasible, irreversible changes in terms of the pressure on public services.
“What do I mean by that? 600,000 people need to be accommodated. Imagine doing that for 10 years, that’s 6 million people, which would mean building many large cities.
“There are social consequences. There are economic consequences, in that you’re not equipping Britain to be the high tech high school the country needs to be to compete in the future.”
In a discussion with Andrew Pierce and Bev Turner, he continued: “We’re doing it because we train too few people of our own.
“I’ve argued for a very long time that we need to build more vocational practical skills. I boosted the number of apprenticeships when I was the minister very considerably, but we need to do more.
“And ironically, the Prime Minister said that himself yesterday, he said we need more high quality apprenticeships. Exactly. We do. We do encourage more people to acquire skills, we deliver personal fulfilment to them and meet an economic need.”
He added: “I think it’s important that we retain all the best of what Britain has been to shape her future, which is even greater. I’m an optimist, but I’m a realist.
“Realistically, we can’t continue to support this kind of level of immigration and build the better Britain we want. Those two things can’t be reconciled.”
The Rt Hon Sir John Hayes is the Conservative MP for South Holland and The Deepings, and has been an MP continuously since 1 May 1997.