The UK should set up a Ministry of Immigration, assign “unique person numbers” to the population and reshape migration policy to suit British people, a think tank has recommended.
The new report, produced by Policy Exchange, calls for changes to Britain’s migration system which would see it better serve voters’ needs. It advises the country reduce its dependence on migrants and instead invest in training its own citizens.
Authoring the report, David Goodhart argues that UK should set up a Department of Immigration. This, it states, would address the “powerful national mandate” to lower migration. Though Britain has a minister of immigration under the Home Office at present, the crucial policy area lacks its own department.
The report recommends that Britain creates a “Scandinavian-style” population register. It suggests that this could be based around NHS registration, and would give the government some more reliable oversight on the number of people in the country.
Pointing out that ‘Brexit’ provides a great opportunity for the government to reshape immigration policy, the report advises Britain more clearly distinguish between full and temporary citizens. The latter category, Mr. Goodhart writes, “should not have full access to social and political rights (and would not have an automatic right to bring in dependents) and should leave after a few years”.
Noting that current annual Home Office spending on immigration is just 0.3 per cent of total public spending, the report calls for the figure to be “both sharply increased and ring-fenced”.
Mr. Goodhart writes: “The Border Force and Immigration Enforcement functions also need a big increase in funding and manpower to do their jobs properly in our more globalised era with more movement across borders, both legal and illegal.”
Acknowledging that employers benefit in the short-term from the huge pool of willing workers the EU’s open borders policy provides, the report warns that this comes at the cost of society as a whole.
It notes that large migration flows come with brain-drain issues for migrants’ countries of origin, and have come at the expense of British workers. The report slams the private sector’s underinvestment in science, maths, technology, and engineering (STEM) skills. Mr. Goodhart puts this down to the ease with which companies can bring trained workers from overseas, and suggests that the system be overhauled.
The report also demonstrates how the influence of UKIP is felt within Conservative party linked pressure groups. It recommends the government take its advice to lower immigration, warning that otherwise “ a UKIP-inspired ‘betrayal’ narrative on immigration may become popular”.
Policy Exchange has been described as “the largest, but also the most influential think tank on the right” and Mr. Goodhart is head of its demography and immigration hub. He has for some time cautioned that research shows mass immigration, diversity and multiculturalism damage society by reducing trust and social capital.
Denmark is one country with a Ministry for Immigration. Its minister, Inger Støjberg, has slashed benefits for non-Danes and even took out adverts in foreign newspapers telling would-be migrants not to bother travelling to Denmark.
After trading insults with local left-wingers and migrants on a visit to Nørrebro in May, Ms. Støjberg wrote on Facebook:: “To the young immigrants who are devastating Nørrebro: behave yourselves!
“You live in the greatest country in the world. Opportunities lay right before you. So stop rampaging, the threats and yelling”.