A new YouGov poll has shown immigration to have sharply risen as a topic of concern among voters. It is now the top concern among Conservatives, while the overall share saying it is a top issue is now 11 points higher than during the peak of illegal Channel crossings last year. It flies in the face of what some commentators would have you believe is happening. High immigration is not only a major worry for the public but the concern is rising. The unending and rising flow of (illegal) crossings across the English Channel this week helps to crystalise what the sensible majority recognise as an abject failure by the government to address an issue of major importance. (See our Channel Tracker to keep updated).
It is not just the matter of our overwhelmed and abused asylum system. The government has been dodging the fact that they are seriously weakening visa controls – hiding behind an abnormal dip in travel due to the pandemic. Now that we are opening up, it would be surprising if immigration concern did not go on rising in salience and prominence back to the levels it was and had been for years. As we repeatedly say, people are concerned about immigration because it has driven massive population growth (about seven million since 2001) and rapid change to our country (without public consent), placed huge pressure on communities, is creating division and leading to the loss of so much of our precious countryside as population increase, driven by immigration, in turn drives the need for more and more dwellings.
Blog of the week
As a case study in the obfuscation and spin played by this government on immigration, a speech by the Home Secretary Priti Patel in May this year was a perfect example. When challenged as to whether the government’s new system would reduce immigration levels, she said numbers and such concerns were the ‘language of old.’ This after getting into power on the back of promises that immigration would be controlled and reduced. In short, the government no longer seem to be bothered by numbers or their impact (see our recent paper on why numbers matter), despite the fact that the question of scale is absolutely central to the concerns that so many British people have about immigration. If there is no longer any intention to reduce the scale, what was all the rhetoric about? Was it all hot air? Perhaps, the plan all along was to increase global immigration substantially and to hell with the consequences for our country. See our full blog here.
Migration Watch in the news
Our chairman Alp Mehmet has featured in a number of news stories this week, including on BBC News, GB News and TalkRadio (Europe’s fastest growing radio station) mostly focused on the Channel crisis. See below:
Mail Online: Britain is braced for ANOTHER record day of migrant crossings: Thirty more are caught in Channel today as Priti Patel warns France she won’t pay promised £54m until they clamp down on people smugglers
‘For as long as the route is successful, the numbers are simply going to go up. If people can come to the UK on a dinghy and stay here there is too much money to be made by traffickers for them to stop. Currently, there is nothing to discourage them. We have got to show coming across illegally in a dinghy won’t work. At the moment, it is working.’
‘The only effective measure we can take is for the French to take illegal immigrants back.’
‘Unless we start returning those who arrive it’s going to go up and up. It’s easy money, why wouldn’t you do it.’
See below for Alp’s response to proposal’s from the Home Secretary to start sending boats carrying illegal immigrants across the Channel back to France:
Breitbart: Boris Govt Finally Considering Turning Back Migrant Boats, French Furious
‘The Home Secretary is right to instruct the Border Force to intercept and turn back dinghies with migrants in the Channel,” commented Migration Watch UK chairman Alp Mehmet — although to reiterate, it is not yet certain this will actually happen — in a statement seen by Breitbart London supporting turnarounds.
‘Stopping the boats is the only way to break the business model of the people-smugglers and deter the rising number of needless and deadly crossings.’
Alp also featured on the BBC discussing this issue.
See below for our comment on immigration becoming a top priority among voters once again:
‘The major rise in voter concern about immigration is not surprising. Even with the humiliating failure to secure our border at the Channel and the swelling of legal arrivals through mass resettlement schemes, the government keeps opening new uncapped routes to enable even more immigration. Tens of millions will see this is as a betrayal of election pledges to restore control.’
Make your voice heard
We receive many emails and letters every week voicing concern and alarm at the way in which securing Britain’s borders has become an also-ran in the government’s priorities, despite being a major priority for millions of the public. We know that this as frustrating for our supporters as it is for us, especially since the truth about the government’s plans for border control seem to amount to little more than a weakening of key controls, buried under vacuous headline grabbing spin and distortion.
Why not cut through this by writing to your local MP. Tell him/her that immigration is a critically important issue for you, and a failure to act on these concerns on will cost them your vote. It can often seem like ordinary citizens are powerless, but rest assured, as the new polling this week shows, millions feel exactly as we do, and thirty million think immigration has been too high. Write to your MP here to make your voice heard.