With opinion polls showing immigration – rightly or wrongly – the number one concern of voters, and with UKIP snapping at the heels of David Cameron, you can only imagine how damaging it would be if the fact were ever to come out that the prime minister has secretly agreed to a flood of cheap labour from India into the UK.
Well, the fact is, he has.
And that’s probably why he and his media friends have been keeping really really quiet about it.
Here’s a question for you. What was the purpose of David Cameron’s recent trip to India?
Bilateral trade you might well say. After all, that was how it was spun in the UK media.
In India however, the truth is somewhat easier to find.
The main purpose of the trip was actually to boost completion of the EU/India Free Trade Agreement.
India’s sole demand in this agreement is that the EU allows Indian companies to supply cheap temporary labour into the EU – approximately 85% of which would be to the UK.
The Coalition will argue in its defence that the UK now has an ‘immigration cap’.
However, the government has excluded temporary workers from the cap and the trade agreement with India allows specifically for temporary workers to come to the UK.
Temporary? How temporary? Well, the UK government has stipulated that ‘temporary’ can be as long as 9-10 years.
Cameron may well also argue that the agreement only allows for ‘graduates’ or ‘students’ to work in the UK.
But what he won’t tell you is that the ‘graduates’ and ‘students’ only need to be classed as that status in India. In the UK they could take any jobs from factory workers and care assistants to doctors, teachers and accountants.
And finally the government will argue that there are restrictions on the numbers of certain kinds of workers who will be allowed into the UK.
What they won’t tell you is that there are no restrictions on the overall number of Indian workers who will be allowed into the UK.
For a more detailed analysis of the trade agreement and what it will mean for the UK, have a look at this excellent article here:
What was the real purpose of David Cameron’s visit to India?
The truth is, Cameron knows full well that this flood of cheap labour from India is sure to put a strain on employment, housing, health and public services in the UK as well as driving down wages and working conditions.
Of course, as long as this immigration bombshell is kept secret from the UK electorate, Cameron is counting on the effects of the agreement only being noticed well after the next election in 2015, by which time he’s hoping he will be in power for another 5 years anyway.
And needless to say, if this information were ever to get out – it would have a devastating effect on Cameron’s chances of winning the next election.
So best keep it to ourselves then, hadn’t we?