Mr Dickson also said the Labour Party “disgracefully” only introduced a one-line whip on the matter, ensuring the Government was victorious. The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill passed 297-234, despite a Labour u-turn and late opposition to it.
“Labour initially announced they would not vote against the legislation but following a backlash, shifted its position. However, many of its MPs had previously been told by party whips they did not need to be present to vote, handing the Government a comfortable victory. Labour disgracefully abdicated its responsibility on this matter.
“The DUP support for this Bill was also shameful. The Bill is bad for our economy and our society in general. Immigration is a positive for the UK, particularly Northern Ireland. It enriches our society, with immigrants helping our economy to be competitive and maintaining the quality of our public services.
“In the joint letter from the then-First and Deputy First Minister in August 2016, it was outlined the challenges the local economy faced, with the region having a greater need for labour across a wide range of skill levels. Manufacturing and agri-food in particular have a dependency upon migrant labour.