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  1. ITV Report

Immigration uncontrollable while Britain remains in the EU, says Employment Minister Priti Patel

Priti Patel speaks at the launch of the EU referendum women's campaign for Britain. Credit: Reuters

Employment Minister Priti Patel has launched a scathing attack on the "chaos" of Britain's immigration controls.

The pro-Brexit Conservative MP said immigration is "uncontrolled and uncontrollable" while Britain remains in the EU.

Writing in The Sun newspaper, Ms Patel commented: "There is another great bonus of leaving the EU - we'll be able to design a new immigration system that brings the chaos under control and helps the economy.

"It is running at the rate of a million every three years. Last year, 270,000 arrived from Europe alone."

It is crazy that we make it so hard for Indian geniuses to come here just because they don't have EU passports and just because we have to let in anyone from Europe who feels like coming here and trying their luck at finding a job.

It's not the wealthy and the corporate elite who have seen their wages undercut and the pressure on their schools and hospitals, or who can't get on to the housing ladder.

– Priti Patel, Employment minister

Ms Patel also criticised economic predictions from government colleagues in the Treasury about what could happen in the event of a withdrawal from the EU.

"If the government seriously believed the doom-laden propaganda they have been pumping out about the horrors of life after the EU, they would never have called this referendum in the first place," she said.

Chancellor George Osborne and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Elizabeth Truss promoting the Remain campaign at an event in Bristol. Credit: Reuters

The government thinks it can predict what will happen in the economy in 2030. Last November, the Treasury said there was going to be a windfall of £27 billion from unexpectedly high tax receipts. When the Budget came round in March, that had turned into a £56 billion shortfall. Fourteen years ahead? They can't even predict 14 weeks ahead.

– Priti Patel, Employment minister

Ms Patel's comments come after figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that net migration to the UK rose to 333,000 in 2015 - the second highest figure on record. The figure for EU-only net migration was 184,000.

The Treasury meanwhile, warned that pensioners could be thousands of pounds worse off if the UK votes to leave the EU.

Ministers said Brexit would cause inflation to rise and erode the value of state pension increases.