UK - The Labour Government, in response to the Conservative Party proposals (the main opposition party), will be announcing significant immigration policy changes this week in an attempt to tighten immigration controls.
The Home Secretary Charles Clarke is set to announce a points system for economic migrants and electronic embarkation controls, along with more removals of failed asylum seekers.
Conservative Party Leader Michael Howard, the son of asylum seekers himself, has already outlined plans to set an annual limit on the number of asylum seekers allowed into the UK and also wants all asylum claims to be processed from abroad. These proposals have been met with fierce criticism from opposition ranks who have labelled Mr Howard's policy as 'disgusting'
Liberal Democrat chairman Matthew Taylor said it was "absolutely disgusting" to propose a system which could turn away genuine refugees.
Mr Howard further claimed that Britain should take its fair share of the world's "genuine refugees" and said the current asylum system is being abused, and along with it, Britain's generosity.
Labours own research indicates that immigration will be an important election issue at the next General Election. The General Election, probably in May, will decide on who will form the next Government in the UK. This has prompted the Home Secretary to promise tougher immigration controls while at the same time criticising the Conservative Party proposals.
The announcement of changes to Government immigration policy by the Home Secretary are likely to be made early this week. A document criticising the Conservative Party proposals has already been published.