Posted: 18 October 2019
After the victory of our motion at Labour Party conference next month, it’s time to take the campaign for free movement and migrants’ rights back to the grassroots of the labour and trade union movements. The whole party needs to be ready to fight for our policy at the next election, which might be just around the corner!
Help build the campaign, and make sure the conference vote is put into practice, by proposing this motion to your local Labour party or affiliate. Please let us know if you’re proposing it – and how it went – by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get in touch if you want advice about how motions work, or help preparing for proposing speeches.
We will also have a version for local trade union branches soon – get in touch if you’re ready to bring the cause into your union!
Motion – “Labour’s Migration Policy: For Free Movement, Equality and Solidarity”
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. Labour must be the party of all workers, standing for workers’ unity across the divisions of nationality.
We therefore welcome the near unanimous vote at Labour Party Conference 2019 for a motion drafted by the Labour Campaign for Free Movement – probably the most radical step towards a socialist migration policy our party has ever taken. We call on the whole party to respect this democratic vote by putting it fully into action in opposition, in our next manifesto and in government:
- “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”
In this spirit, we support calls for Labour to also pledge an immediate halt to all deportations, and an amnesty granting residency for all migrants in the UK regardless of current documentation.
Scapegoating, ending free movement and attacking migrants’ rights are attacks on all workers. As Labour conference 2018 declared: “stagnant wages, crumbling services and the housing crisis are being exacerbated by the government and employers making the rich richer at working people’s expense, and not immigration”. Without free movement, only the rich can live and travel where they want, while migrant workers are more precarious and vulnerable to hyper-exploitation, pressing down wages and conditions for everyone.
Labour can provide real solutions to the problems facing working class people. We need massive public funding to ensure good jobs, homes, services and benefits for all; and scrapping all anti-union laws and strengthening rights so workers can push up wages and conditions.
The Labour Campaign for Free Movement, including MPs, trade union leaders and thousands of supporters, was launched in 2017 to campaign to defend and extend free movement. This branch/CLP sends it our endorsement. We will circulate its statement (labourfreemovement.org) to our members to sign; urge our representatives to support the above policies; invite a speaker from the campaign to visit our branch/CLP; and urge our conference delegates to support relevant motions.