An expert think tank has accused the government of pandering to big business rather than heeding the desires of voters in its post-Brexit immigration system, which it says has the effect of opening Britain’s borders even wider.
Responding to the immigration white paper published at Christmas, a report by the Migration Watch UK pressure group notes the new government plan has “no significant proposals for reducing immigration”, despite the Conservative Party having fought, and won, the past three general elections on manifesto promises to cut immigration significantly.
“There are, literally, no measures to reduce net migration, now running at 270,000 a year” in the white paper, Migration Watch notes, claiming the white paper allows almost all EU citizens who are free to enter the United Kingdom at present will continue to be so in the future — and, on top of that, several new migration routes from the rest of the world will be introduced.
Among the changes in Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s white paper is the removal of caps on so-called skilled migration from the rest of the world, with no requirement for jobs to be advertised in the United Kingdom before they can be advertised abroad.
Given those changes, Migration Watch said, it “seems certain that these proposals would allow a massive increase in the number of people entering the UK for work, and [it is] inevitable that many of these would find ways to stay long-term. This is not control. It is an illusion of control.”
Meanwhile, three-quarters of British voters want to see the government crack down on immigration.
Migration Watch UK chairman Lord Green described the new immigration measures as “worse than useless. They are so extensive as to be unenforceable by a Home Office that cannot even enforce the present system and is evading its responsibility to fulfil manifesto promises.
“The government have simply caved in to the employers’ lobby. This White Paper is a betrayal of all those who voted for Brexit in the expectation that immigration would be reduced and of the millions of others who consistently report that they wish to see less immigration.
“At 160 pages this must be, for the Conservatives, the longest suicide note in their history.”
The think tank’s report added: “these proposals are simply encouragement for increased immigration at the behest of some businesses. There is consequently a very strong likelihood of numbers spinning even further out of control.”
The revelations are a far cry from the immigration promises made by Prime Minister Theresa May in 2016: “[Voters] wanted to see an ability to be able to control the movement of people from the European Union. And obviously that’s what I say, not free movement as it has been in the past.
“…what I’m saying is, the British people… didn’t want the free movement to continue as it has in the past. We will be going out there to deliver on that.”
Immigration to the United Kingdom remains a key driver of population growth, placing extra demand on public services and exacerbating the nation’s housing shortage. Breitbart London reported in November that according to government figures for 2017-18, an estimated 273,000 more people moved to the United Kingdom as long-term migrants than moved away.
An estimated 9.4 million, or one in seven, people in the United Kingdom are born abroad, according to the government.
A 2018 study claimed immigration had driven 82 per cent of all population growth in the United Kingdom this century so far, with high immigration and higher-than-average birthrates attributed to migrant parents.
In 2017, one-third of all babies born in Britain had one or two foreign-born parents.