Britain has been torn apart by the biggest influx of immigrants in history, David Cameron will admit today.
The Prime Minister will blame a welfare system which has paid Britons to stay idle and foreign jobseekers ‘not really wanting or even willing to integrate’ for turning neighbourhoods into ghettos.
Immigration has been ‘too high’ for many years and has created ‘discomfort and disjointedness’ across the country, he will say.
In his first major speech on the issue since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Cameron will make the explosive claim that Labour is to blame for allowing extremist parties such as the BNP to flourish by dismissing legitimate concerns about mass immigration as ‘racist’.
And he will insist that measures being implemented by the Coalition will cut immigration by up to 75 per cent from its peak. He will say annual net immigration levels will fall from around 200,000 in recent years to the ‘tens of thousands’ seen under the Thatcher and Major governments.
Mr Cameron will spell out a series of steps the Government is taking to bring down numbers of immigrants, including:
■ A limit on the number of skilled workers coming from outside Europe of 27,000 this year;
■ A minimum age of 21 for spouses coming to the UK;
■ A crackdown on student visas to cut the number issued by 80,000 a year;
■ Limits on ‘health tourism’ and illegal workers claiming benefits;
■ Welfare reforms to end the option of a life on the dole for British workers.
His remarks will be the strongest on immigration by a Prime Minister for more than 20 years and could trigger a political furore.
Critics are likely to question the timing of the speech, just a few weeks before local elections in which the Tories are anxious to shore up their core vote.