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Ipswich MP Sandy Martin attacks leaked Brexit immigration plans

PUBLISHED: 13:07 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:07 08 September 2017

Sandy Martin new Labour MP for Ipswich Picture-Seana Hughes

Sandy Martin new Labour MP for Ipswich Picture-Seana Hughes

A Suffolk MP has slammed a leaked government plan to slash immigration saying: “We should not be in the business of splitting up families.”

Labour’s Sandy Martin spoke out after a Home Office plan to drastically curtail who can come to the UK post-Brexit was made public. The proposals have come under fire from business leaders as well as politicians from all parties.

The document – marked “extremely sensitive” and written last month – sets out how Britain would end free movement of EU citizens but more controversially how restrictions would attempt to deter all but highly-skilled workers.

The plans include stopping family members coming to join loved ones in Britain.

“We should not be in the business of splitting up families,” the Ipswich MP said. “What this leaked document suggests is we would be doing just that. If someone comes here – legally – and is contributing to our country and our economy how can we stop their wife or husband or children joining them? It would be cruel.

“It seems to me that the Home Office is saying they would manage EU immigration in the same way they do non-EU immigration currently. Which is with huge inefficiency. We cannot trust this government to get it right.

“We need to be grown up about the fact that there is always going to be immigration. How we manage that is the question. I absolutely support the push to ensure there are jobs for British people.

“But when someone is contributing to this country to stop their family joining them is wrong.

“Of course it is also a misconception to believe that EU citizens have been able to come here and just claim benefits on day one. They are able to come and if after three months they have no work they cannot just stay and claim. There is a lot of lies and untruths out there we should address.”

Around 2.2 million – about 7% of the total workforce – EU nationals currently work in Britain and some business leaders fear that restrictions could hit some sectors particularly hard and damage the economy.

A study by the union GMB of ONS figures showed that EU workers account for as much as 20% of the workforce in as many as 18 specialist sectors.

The fine but cold weather was expected to attract thousands of people to Bury St Edmunds today for the annual Christmas Fayre.

It was a frosty start to the day for many people across Suffolk and North Essex who had to get out their scapers and clear their windscreens.

An Ipswich bar manager who was assaulted by her former partner when she was 25 weeks pregnant is today backing an international campaign to end male violence against women.

A new charity has launched in Suffolk tonight – and what they are hoping to do has attracted the support of Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber and the county’s gaming community.

Investigations were due to start today into a blaze which broke out in a high rise block of flats in Ipswich, last night.

Investigations were continuing today into a blaze which broke out in a high rise block of flats in Ipswich, last night.

Police have officially stood down their response to an incident in central London.

Ipswich council’s executive is set to confirm the compulsory purchase of two homes in the town on Tuesday.

Two children witnessed a man committing a lewd act in an Ipswich park, police have revealed.

Witnesses are being sought after cash and jewellery were stolen during a daytime burglary in Capel St Mary.

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