If it means better border control, perhaps so…
If we need to pull the plug on the ECHR to restore immigration and border control, so be it.
After the shameful failure of the first attempted Rwanda flight, the government has tabled new legislation to replace the Human Rights Act but wants the UK to remain within the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR – see our comment). This is looking increasingly like a circle that will be difficult, if not impossible, to square. In the coming weeks and months we will doubtless again hear lots of overblown government promises and sanctimonious humbug, as the latest British Bill of Rights makes its slow, laborious way through parliament. The ease with which human rights law has been and continues to be abused has not only hampered our ability to stop illegal boat crossings but has encouraged increasing numbers of migrants to make it their route of choice. Meanwhile those who do get to he UK, including dangerous criminals who should have been removed, have been able to game the system and remain here, often to roam freely and live amongst the public. This is not only a risk to public safety but makes a mockery of claims of sovereignty and control. Our view at Migration Watch, where we have become increasingly sceptical of the fitness of the ECHR for today’s Europe, is that the ECHR’s perverse, and secretive (who was the judge who made the decision?) ruling to halt the Rwanda flight may have been the final nail in the coffin of the outdated convention.
Stepping away from the headlines, the facts remain the same: the government, including Home Secretary Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, explicitly promised a reduction in immigration, but the most recent figures suggest unprecedented levels of visa entry grants (a million in the past year), as well as the news of thousands of failed or missing asylum-seekers still living in Britain ten years on (see Alp quoted here) and surging illegal arrivals. Provocative, if shallow, headlines may get some liberal progressive heads spinning and those among left-wing extremists bent on open borders, but among level-headed British voters like our supporters, who want tight borders and firm control, it just won’t wash.
Blog of the week
This False Claim Drove The Government To Vastly Weaken Study Visa Rules, With Shocking Results
It is now apparent that government policy on student visas has been based upon the government working on a false premis. The share of overseas students who stay on for further studies or other purposes was not 3%, as the government and other immigration activists have claimed. The actual figure is nearly 40%. Given that an all-time record of 440,000 study visas were granted in the past year, the consequences for net migration are clearly much greater than the government has admitted, or even, perhaps realised. Read our full blog here.
Migration Watch in the news
‘The number of migrants who have crossed the Channel in small boats has passed the 50,000 mark in five years, according to analysis of government figures (Matt Dathan writes). Migration Watch UK said the 233 people who arrived in six small boats yesterday took the total to 50,082 since 2018, when records of the journeys began. The think tank said more than a fifth of them had arrived this year, with 10,948 people making the 21-mile trip across the Dover Straits. More than 800 people have arrived this week, suggesting the government’s threat to send migrants to Rwanda has not deterred others from attempting the crossing.’
(See more on the figures at our Boat Tracking Station and also the full comment on the momentous 50,000 milestone).
Alp also wrote a piece for the brilliant and sound Conservative Woman website.
We have also been in general demand once again in the nation’s press this week. See us quoted by the Telegraph and Sun on Sunday below:
‘It boggles the mind that there was not one enforced return on inadmissibility grounds to France during a period when there were around 40,000 arrivals by boat and lorry, many directly from that country.
‘These figures reveal the shocking obstacles ministers face in enforcing the law and tackling asylum abuse. Vexatious legal challenges are one such hurdle, but another factor is ridiculous foot-dragging by the French – to whom, it should be remembered, we have paid hundreds of millions.’
Migration Watch UK’s Alp Mehmet called the situation “a complete mess”.
See below for our official response to the plans for a new Bill of Rights.
“Any reform designed to inject common sense into the operation of human rights law is welcome.
“It is deeply concerning that exploitation of these provisions has undermined our ability to tackle illegal boat crossings and that dangerous criminals have been allowed to remain in the UK, threatening public safety.
“If the measures now proposed do not succeed and it becomes clear that the only way of protecting UK families and enforcing our own borders is to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, then that is what the Government should do.”
Make your voice heard
The spin is annoying and insulting, but it tells us one thing that this government, like all governments, are scared of – the electoral repercussions of their inaction and failure on immigration and border control. In short, they fear not securing our vote next time round. The truth is, their weak and incoherent actions and failure to put in place the right measures, mean not just that our borders are sieve-like, but that people in 80% of the world’s countries now find it easier to come and work in the UK. In the midst of a housing, cost-of-living and health crisis, our government seemingly pay scant attention to growing public anger with overcrowding, strains on services and public safety risks. It can be frustrating to hear nothing but platitudes and manipulative rhetoric from a government that won power partly on a promise to reduce mass immigration. But we believe the most effective way of fighting back is to hold the line by letting them know that unless they exert control and reduce immigration they will not get your vote. Threaten to hit them where it hurts most, in the ballot box. Please write to your MP here.