British government promises stronger measures on immigration

May 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM
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LONDON, May 8 (UPI) -- The British government outlined plans Wednesday to crack down on illegal immigration and to ease deportations of immigrants who commit crimes.

Queen Elizabeth II delivered the government program in a speech from the throne as she opened a new parliamentary session. The Queen's Speech is written by the current government to give its legislative agenda.

The Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition is under pressure from the euroskeptic United Kingdom Independence Party, which made a strong showing in last week's local elections and ran second in a by-election in northern England, pushing the Conservatives into third place and cutting the Labor majority.

Proposed changes on immigration include making landlords responsible if they rent to illegal immigrants and increasing fines on employers who hire illegal immigrants. The government has also said it would limit temporary residents' access to healthcare and bar illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses.

Extending EU membership to Eastern Europe has changed the pattern of immigration to Britain. A survey earlier this year said Polish is the most commonly spoken foreign language in the country.

Cameron has promised to have a referendum in 2017 after renegotiating Britain's relationship with the union if he is still prime minister after the 2015 general election. UKIP has called for a referendum before the election.

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