Labour conference passes our policy for free movement and migrants’ rights by a landslide

Posted: 1 October 2019

On the last day of Labour conference 2019, the party’s members, unions and affiliates voted near-unanimously to approve the policy motion we submitted. The motion declares that our next manifesto should pledge to maintain and extend free movement, and to advance migrants’ rights by closing all detention centres, extending equal voting rights to all UK residents, scrapping all Hostile Environment measures, ending the denial of equal social security and healthcare to migrants, and more.

This victory is thanks to the efforts of members who have campaigned across the Labour party and the unions, and around the country. You can read the policy we won below.

The full text of the immigration motion passed at Labour conference 2019:

Free movement, equality and rights for migrants, are socialist values and benefit us all.

Confronted with attacks on migrants – from the racist Hostile Environment to the Conservatives’ Immigration Bill that plans to end free movement and strip the rights of working-class migrants – we stand for solidarity, equality and freedom.

Scapegoating, ending free movement and attacking migrants’ rights are attacks on all workers. They make migrant workers more precarious and vulnerable to hyperexploitation, pressing down wages and conditions for everyone. They divide us, making it harder to unionise and push back.

Labour offers real solutions to fix the problems which are unfairly and incorrectly blamed on migrants themselves: public funding for good jobs; homes, services and social security for everyone; scrapping anti-union laws to support workers organising for improved conditions and wages. Migrant workers are already central to trade union campaigns beating low pay and exploitation, in spite of prevailing attitudes and Tory legislation.

Labour will include in the manifesto pledges to:

  • Oppose the current Tory immigration legislation and any curbing of rights.
  • Campaign for free movement, equality and rights for migrants.
  • Reject any immigration system based on incomes, migrants’ utility to business, and number caps/targets.
  • Close all detention centres.
  • Ensure unconditional right to family reunion.
  • Maintain and extend free movement rights.
  • End “no recourse to public funds” policies.
  • Scrap all Hostile Environment measures, use of landlords and public service providers as border guards, and restrictions on migrants’ NHS access.
  • Actively challenge anti-immigrant narratives.
  • Extend equal rights to vote to all UK residents