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Nigel Farage: Britons so ill at ease with immigrants their children cannot play in the streets

Thursday, 02 April 2015

Britons are so ill at ease with levels of immigration in their towns that their children do not play football with their neighbours in the streets, Nigel Farage has said.

The UK Independence Party leader said people in eastern England felt a “deep level of discomfort” about the millions of immigrants who have settled in the UK in the past decade.

Unveiling an election poster in the shadow of the white cliffs of Dover, Mr Farage said leaving Europe would cut net migration from 300,000 to just 30,000 a year by 2018.

Mr Farage said that by cutting migration levels it would make communities feel happier with their neighbours, particularly in the east of England.

He said: “I want to live in a community where our kids play football in the streets of an evening and live in a society that is at ease with itself.

“And I sense over the last decade or more we are not at ease.

“If we went to every town up eastern England and spoke to people about how they felt, their town, their city had changed in the last 15 years, there is a deep level of discomfort, because if you have immigration at these sorts of levels integration doesn’t happen.”

Mr Farage said he wanted net migration to “return to normality” to “a net 30,000 people a year” coming into this country.

He said: “A net level of about 30,000 a year is roughly what we have from 50 years from 1950 almost to the turn of the century.

“It was a level at which the country was comfortable, integration was possible and it did not crucially push down the wages of ordinary people.

“If we had a referendum at the end of this year… there is absolutely no reason why midway through this [next] Parliament we could not return to normality.

“You cannot control immigration all the while you have any open door to nearly half a billion people. That is where the immigration debate needs to start.

But within hours Mr Woolfe appeared to contradict his leader, telling BBC Radio Five Live that the cap was 50,000 a year, and it referred to one of five different categories of migrant.

He said: “Immigration as a whole I would always generalise as having about 5 different categories consisting of; work, students, asylum, family reunion and this catch all figure.

“When we referred to the 50,000 that was in relation to one section, that’s work, and this was in relation to one part of that category, highly skilled work.

“I think unfortunately what has happened with this debate, people have got confused with that number.”

Mr Farage also repeated his policy that migrants with life-threatening illnesses like Aids should be turned away at the border if they do not have health insurance.

He said: “At the moment you can come to Britain, be tested and get the drugs for Aids. Those drugs are about £25,000 per year per person.

“The vast majority of people don’t want that expenditure. This Government has opened us up to that.

“We all want to be good neighbours and friendly with the people in our street but generally we put the interests of our own families first.”

Meanwhile, speculation is mounting that Ukip’s poll surge is running out of steam, with polls showing the party's rating has dropped from 17 per cent at the beginning of the year to below 14 per cent.

One Cabinet minister said: “We believe the Ukip vote is softening and increasing coming back to us.”

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have gone up nearly two points in the polls, eating into Labour's poll lead and approaching level pegging.

A spokesman for Mr Farage said: “Nigel didn’t say children were ill at ease over immigration, and therefore not playing football in the streets. He was saying that due to current, unprecedented levels of immigration, and segregation – that kids of different communities and backgrounds often don’t live in the same areas, and therefore CAN’T interact and forge friendships.

"Nigel said, as you’ll see in our party election broadcast tomorrow, filmed weeks ago, that he wants to see a society at ease with itself. Segregation doesn’t create these conditions."

Source: The Telegraph

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