Yesterday Parliament voted down the Government’s proposals on granting certain ex members of the Gurkha Regiment the right to residency in the UK. Needless to say the opposition parties leaped at this opportunity to bash the government and Gordon Brown in particular.
The vote was an emotional vote and not one based on commonsense and a grasp of reality. Just take a step back and see the situation for what it really is. The Gurkhas sign up to a contract to fight if necessary for the perceived needs of the UK and in return they are paid an agreed sum. At the end of their term of service they receive an agreed pension. That is the end of our obligation to what are in effect mercenaries. Post 1997 a part of the agreement is indeed a right to UK residency which will be honoured.
The likely result of this emotional vote is a further influx of immigrants into this already overcrowded island at a probable cost of £2bn. We have a right to expect our politicians to think things through clearly, dispassionately and leave emotions outside the debating chamber.