Immigration: the letter I signed to the Daily Telegraph

From Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph and organized by Robin Meltzer:

SIR – David Cameron’s recent speech on European immigration is the latest in a series of desperate moves from a Conservative Party in full-scale panic.

We’ve had: “Go home or face arrest” vans. We’ve had: if you are from the EU and want to move to Britain, go and register at a police station. We’ve had: if you’re out of work, even for a few months, go back to where you came from.

In her Bruges speech in 1988, Margaret Thatcher said: “Britain does not dream of some cosy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community. Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community.”

What happened to that Conservative destiny? The dual menace of the Tory headbangers and the rise of Ukip.

There is nothing patriotic about bashing immigration from Europe. It is opportunistic, weak and fundamentally un-British. Migrants from the EU claim less in benefits than people born in this country. They are a massive net positive to the British economy. The Tories are scared to admit this. They have lost all sense of political courage – and that is why people have lost confidence in them.

We, the undersigned Liberal Democrats, konw that the real patriotic case is for Britain to remain in Europe; our jobs and our economic future depend on it.

Robin Meltzer
Tim Farron MP
President, Liberal Democrats

Baroness Brinton
President-elect, Liberal Democrats

Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon

Caroline Pidgeon AM
Liberal Democrat Leader, London Assembly

Aled Roberts AM
Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales

William Powell AM
Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales

Eluned Parrott AM
Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales Central

Layla Moran

Ibrahim Taguri

Adrian Trett

Patrick Haveron

John Ball

Peter Reisdorf

Allan Brame

Alisdair Calder McGregor

Sanjay Samani

Paul Twigger

Helen Flynn

Neil Hughes

Michael Bukola

Dr Turhan Oze

Kate Smith

Christine Tinker

Hilary Jones

Tad Jones

Nick Perry

Baroness Ludford of Clerkenwell

Naomi Smith
Chair, Social Liberal Forum

Alan Muhammed
Chair, Liberal Reform

Linda Jack
Federal Policy Committee

Richard Brett
Chair of English Candidates Committee

Caron Lindsay
Co-Editor, Liberal Democrat Voice

Joshua Dixon
Federal Executive Member

Mark Pack
Federal Policy Committee Member

Daisy Cooper
Federal Executive Member

Paul Pettinger
Vice-President of Liberal Youth

Craig Harrow
Convener, Scottish Liberal Democrats

Rabi Martins
Diversity Champion, East of England

Ryan Mercer
Policy Officer, Liberal Youth

Anthony Fairclough

Callum Delhoy
Secretary, Cambridge Liberal Youth

Yan Malinowski
President, University of East Anglia Liberal Youth

Luke Chapman
South East Liberal Youth Chairman

Ian Morton
Secretary, South Central

Cadan ap Tomos
Secretary, Welsh National Executive Committee

Gordon Lishman
President, North West Liberal Democrats

Simon McGrath
Liberal Reform Executive Member

James Borg
President, Keele University Liberal Youth

Will Forster
Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Woking

Conor McKenzie
Chair, Oxford East Liberal Democrats

Mark Blackburn
Treasurer, Social Liberal Forum

Ben Johnson
Bermondsey & Old Southwark

Gregan Crawford
Vice-Convenor, Edinburgh North East & Leith Lib Dems

Jennie Rigg
Chair, Calderdale Liberal Democrats

The Rev’d Simon Wilson
Treasurer, West Norfolk Liberal Democrats

Stephen Clarke
Chair, Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats

Hannah Bettsworth
Scottish Campaigns and Candidates Committee

Janet King
Chair, Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats

Mary Reid
Social Liberal Forum Council and Liberal Voice

David Hughes
Chair, Western Counties Liberal Democrats

Paul Walter
Liberal Democrat Voice

Dr Michael Taylor
Treasurer, Calderdale Liberal Democrats

Gary Malcolm
Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Ealing

Sam Webber
Vice Chair, Bromley Liberal Democrats

Philip Latham
Vice Chair, Hexham Liberal Democrats

Gemma Roulston
Membership Secretary, Liberal Democrat Disability Association

Bill Newton Dunn
MEP for East Midlands 2004-2014

Dr Spencer Hagard
Chair, Cambridge Liberal Democrats

Barry Holliday
Campaigns Officer, Nottingham City Liberal Democrats

Martin Johns
Liberal Democrat Group Leader, South Northamptonshire

Brendan Glynane
Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Northamptonshire

Christopher Adams
Chair, Newark Liberal Democrats

Anthony Faithfull-Wright
Leicester South

James King
Hampstead & Kilburn

John Pindar

Carolyn Rampton
Richmond Park

Harry Matthews

Simon Ferrigno
Derby City

Rob Blackie
Dulwich & West Norwood

Henry Compson

Sarah Green

Flick Rea
Hampstead and Kilburn

Dr Charles Corser
West Lothian

Tim Jones
Cannock Chase

The Rev’d Canon Alan Taylor
Boston and Skegness

Guy Grainger
Secretary, East Midland Liberal Democrats

Gary Mark Fuller
Folkestone and Hythe

Michael Brown
Lincoln, Sleaford and North Hykeham

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