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Immigration after the EU referendum: get it right or risk irrelevance?

  • Date(s)
    27 September 2016
  • Time
    12:20 - 13:45
  • Location
    Tate Liverpool
  • Address
    Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool L3 4BB
Immigration after the EU referendum: get it right or risk irrelevance?

In partnership with the Barrow Cadbury Fund, across Europe, concerns about immigration and the free movement of EU citizens have intensified over the past year as a result of the refugee crisis and the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. In the UK, levels of net migration have reached record highs in recent years, and the EU referendum campaign has confirmed that immigration is now clearly central to the political debate.

The referendum has in many ways raised more questions than it has answered and voters have yet to get a clear sense of what immigration policy will look like after Brexit. One thing is certain: this issue played a key role in the outcome of the referendum. Many traditional Labour voters went against the official party position and used the opportunity to voice their dissatisfaction on immigration as well as other issues. If Labour is to rebuild the support it needs to win the next general election it is going to have to develop a clear position on immigration that addresses the concerns of voters but keeps on board its activists, who often think very differently.

This discussion will consider the political impact of the referendum campaign and outcome on the immigration debate and explore how best Labour can respond to new developments.


Thom Brooks, chair in law and government, Head of Durham Law School

Sunder Katwala, director, British Future       

Rachel Reeves, Labour MP and former shadow secretary of state for DWP

Tim Roache, general secretary, GMB

Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer, The Observer

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