Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP calls for sane approach to asylum and immigration debate

5.46.02pm BST (GMT +0100) Wed 26th Jul 2006

Stephen Williams (photography: Tim Pollard)

Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, has joined with a cross party group of MPs calling for a more sane approach to the issues of asylum and immigration.

Mr Williams has signed a parliamentary petition asking the government to set up an "independent population and immigration commission" to provide independent statistics and analysis of the costs and benefits of our changing population to the nation as a whole.

Stephen Williams said "Asylum and immigration are often thorny issues which just descend into political mudslinging. Nobody believes that the government is producing accurate figures, which gives the right wing media the freedom to make up all kinds of unfounded scare stories. This in turn whips up racial hatred and artificially divides our society."

"The aim of this campaign is to be able to have a rational and considered debate about how we best deal with these matters in the future, without both sides crying wolf at every opportunity."

The Early Day Motion Stephen Williams has signed is number 2599 and reads:

That this House believes that an independent population and immigration commission with responsibility for producing statistical information on population, immigration and asylum should be established; and further believes that it should undertake studies of the costs and benefits of immigration, both in relation to the economy and to public policy generally, that it should relate these studies to wider population issues and that it should advise government on these matters and so contribute to more informed public understanding and discussion of population and immigration issues.

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