From Leigh to you: Future of RAF Scampton is great news

Edward Leigh MP
Edward Leigh MP

Many in the constituency will be as pleased as I am to hear the news that RAF Scampton is to remain open.

The base is an important part of our community as well as a key contributor to the local economy. More than that, it is central to Lincolnshire’s long and proud history of hosting and contributing to the RAF across its ninety-four years of service.

Scampton first played a part in Britain’s air defence combating the Kaiser’s zeppelins and in the Second World War was home to the famous Dambusters’ Squadron. Of course, Scampton is now most famous as home to the RAF Aerobatic Team, better known as the Red Arrows.

I am glad the Ministry of Defence has decided to keep the Red Arrows here in our little corner of Lincolnshire, and I welcome their decision to put RAF Scampton’s future on a firm foundation.

This country’s peace and security aren’t only matters for the armed forces. To fight international crime and prevent terrorism, the government has a responsibility to ensure that it knows who is coming and going through the country’s borders and who makes use of its entry points. To that end, the Home Secretary recently announced new measures to limit the number of immigrants who come to live in the UK through marriage or family connections.

“Sham marriages have been widespread,” the Home Secretary told the Commons. “People have been allowed to settle in Britain without being able to speak English; and there have not been rules in place to stop migrants becoming a burden on the taxpayer. We are changing all of that.”

She outlined that the Home Office will be adding measures to ensure that visas are only granted to those in genuine relationships and that those coming to settle in this country will be able to pay their own way.

In a time when the Government is being forced to pay for the profligacy of past Governments, it is not justifiable to be subsidising newcomers when we can’t afford the benefits system we have for existing Britons.

At the last election, we promised to get immigration down to tens of thousands. There has been far too little progress during two years of the Coalition Government.

In the debate following the Home Secretary’s statement, I commended the commitments she made. I hope we can bring migration into this country under control, so Britain remains the green and pleasant land we love.