We welcome Mrs Braverman’s plans
A Braverman Bravura
Could it be that we finally have a Home Secretary that actually means business on immigration? In her speech to the Conservative Party Conference, Suella Braverman made the sort of clear and unequivocal commitment to reducing immigration that we have been urging on Home Secretaries for years. Mrs Braverman made clear why it was so important to do it while encouraging the levels and sort of immigration that will not only serve the interests of the British people but also help integration. She pledged to “substantially reduce” the number of low-skilled workers coming to the UK and said too many foreign students were coming to study “substandard” courses. The Home Secretary’s comments on student visas and how increasing numbers of post-graduates are bringing their dependants with them (80,000 in the past year) in large numbers marks a significant break with the adulatory rhetoric that we usually hear about the ever increasing number of study visas (now approaching half a million per year). The Home Secretary insisted that Britain’s immigration policy must focus on those most likely to contribute to economic prosperity while calling on farmers to end their “reliance” on cheap foreign workers. She was even brave enough to declare that her ultimate objective was to achieve net migration of tens of thousands. Wow. For our part at MW, our view has always been that the fact that all Conservative Home Secretaries since 2010 had failed to achieve net migration of tens of thousands did not mean the policy was wrong or any less necessary. Indeed, we would strongly argue that it is now an even greater imperative than it was in 2010.
On the Channel, Mrs Braverman vowed to pursue the partnership with Rwanda, get illegal Channel crossers out of hotels, work more closely with the French and ultimately resile from the ECHR (the 1951 Convention too?) if that is what it takes to secure our borders without the leave of secretive and faceless judges in Strasbourg. She was right to warn that these complex issues could not be resolved overnight. But we do expect early and steady progress. We believe Mrs Braverman really means business and has the ability and competence to deliver on her commitments. But we have heard tough talk from previous Home Secretaries before. They promised big and delivered little. Nevertheless, we congratulate Mrs Braverman for having the courage to challenge the orthodoxy (what she aptly called ‘the forces ranged against us’). What she can do without is the brake being applied by many of her cabinet colleagues, including the PM. We noted that in her conference speech, while praising her ‘brilliant Home Secretary’ the Prime Minister focused only on how the leader of the Opposition would baulk at proposals to tackle the Channel crisis. We wish Mrs Braverman well in the coming battle. She will need all the support she can get as the immigration industry, with its political, academic and media backers prepares to strike back.
Blog of the week
Collapsing enforcement and the present border chaos threatens the safety of families in the UK. In the midst of huge abuse of human rights law, removals of high-harm individuals have plummeted. New government statistics show that enforced removals of the highest harm immigration offenders and foreign criminals have fallen from 2,200 to less than 1,000 in the past decade. The number of serious foreign criminals (foreign national offenders or FNOs) who have been removed from the UK each year has fallen from 6,200 in 2016 to 2,700 in 2021. Please see our full blog here.
Migration Watch in the news
See below for our appearances in the country’s top news outlets this week:
‘I think that was probably the best Home Secretary speech at a conference for ten years. It really was excellent.’
For Migration Watch UK, a think tank campaigning to clamp down on migration to the UK, much of the answer lies in “tougher enforcement”.
Migration Watch wants to see a bolstered border force to deter entrants and protect the public and recommends expanding the use of detention centres along the UK’s border.
The body warned that more work is having to be done by fewer people, saying that enforcement operations since 2015 have been on the decline.
They want to see more investment and support at the border, and has previously criticised “savage cuts in funding and personnel”.
This enforcement might also mean more activity at source. The Home Affairs Committee recommended that an “intelligence-led approach remains the best way to identify the activities of such gangs and prevent their continuing exploitation of vulnerable people.”
One thing, those across the political spectrum agree: as Migration Watch chairman Alp Mehmet put it, the new Home Secretary “must get a grip on the Channel crisis”.
“Bravo, Mrs Braverman, for having the courage to commit to reducing immigration. It is what the majority of the public have wanted since 2010.
“None of the Home Secretary’s three immediate predecessors pledged to reduce net migration in the clear, unequivocal way expressed by her.
“All credit to her.”
Make your voice heard
The vision that has been put forward in recent weeks, especially by the Treasury, for ongoing mass immigration – at perhaps even higher levels than the present record 1.1 million visas per year – suggests that voters have been betrayed and ignored on this vital issue. After all, the government told us they would take back control only for the rules to be loosened to make it easier for those in 80% of the world’s countries to come here and work and increasing numbers of students with questionable ability coming to undertake low-level courses at mediocre universities. Having completed their courses they can stay on for two years even if it’s to deliver takeaways or stack shelves. Madness. However, the very fact we are now having a conversation about overall net migration levels and not just illegal immigration, means that your hard work and persistence may be starting to pay off. To all those who have contacted their MP to voice their concern over immigration numbers we say, thank you. For those who have not done so and would like to, you can write to your MP here.