— liarpoliticians (@liarpoliticians) 30 April 2018
Brain fade moment for Diane Abbott, who was repeatedly unable to answer whether Labour would deport illegal immigrants on Good Morning Britain:
“All I can say to you Piers is that anybody watching the programme this morning will be surprised that you don’t want to talk about the immediate plight of the Windrush generation… The logical fallout from the state the immigration and nationality department is in is to try and work towards an immigration and nationality department which is much more fair and much more efficient and this is something I’m working on the nuts and bolts of.”
Remember when Diane was accusing Amber Rudd of not being across the details?
— Peston on Sunday (@pestononsunday) April 29, 2018
One of the advantages of Brexit is we can now have a fair immigration system that treats people from outside the EU the same as people from inside. Would be a shame if the government sides with the Remainers and shows a lack of ambition on this too…
*most inevitable narrator’s voice of all time*
There were targets for removals pic.twitter.com/8r0Lccg8Xo
— Alan White (@aljwhite) April 26, 2018
Amber Rudd told the Home Affairs select committee yesterday: “We don’t have targets for removals… if you’re asking me are there numbers of people we expect to be removed, that’s not how we operate.”
Note the subtle change in line from the Home Office last night: It has never been policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet a target.
… Repeated by Matt Hancock on the Today programme this morning: “As far as I understand it, it has never been Home Office policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet the target.”
Because… this 2015 report sent to then Home Secretary Theresa May by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration shows: “For 2014/15 (10 full months) the Home Office set a target of 7,200 Voluntary Departures, an average of 120 per week, with the weekly target rising to 160 by the end of March 2015. For 2015/16, the annual target was raised to 12,000.”
You would have thought that, between them, the current and former Home Secretaries would know if the Home Office had migrant removal targets. Guess who is scheduled for today’s Press Gallery lunch…
Two pieces today express the unhappiness of Brexiters with Theresa May’s version of Brexit. Boris tells the Telegraph leaving will be “pointless” if we cannot diverge from the EU and strike trade deals with other countries, and makes the case for a “liberal” immigration policy that allows us to take “software people from Hyderabad” and “Australian paramedics” as well as skilled migrants from the EU. Fraser Nelson blasts May for pursuing “the wrong Brexit” in the Spectator, warning:
“Many Remainers genuinely believed they were engaged in a battle of ‘open’ vs ‘closed’ — and that ‘closed’ won. So as democrats, they ought to obey what they believe to be the demand of Brexit voters: clamping down on migration, sounding more tough and less liberal. This is a tragic misreading not only of the referendum result, but of public opinion today. Seeking to control immigration is not the same thing as being anti-immigrant…
Limits should be placed on unskilled labour, as is common in most countries, but skilled workers should be welcomed with open arms. There should be no more treating Australians or Indians as second class immigrants, and no more violinists deported to Massachusetts because they don’t earn enough.”
This is essentially the problem with two Remainers, May and Rudd, being in charge of the post-Brexit approach to immigration. In an effort to win the support of Brexiters, May and Rudd have overcompensated and tried to be more Brexit than Brexit, playing up to their caricature of what they think Leave voters want. A Leave Prime Minister would not have used EU citizens as bargaining chips as May did for so long. A Leave Prime Minister would not continue to favour EU migrants over non-EU migrants post-Brexit, as Brexiters fear May and Rudd will do to get a better deal. Polling by Open Europe found 56% supported continuing immigration “as long as there are controls to make sure they will contribute to our society, economy and way of life”. It is about control and fairness, not the cold approach exemplified by the Windrush scandal…
Press Association has some curious Anna Soubry quotes from a fringe event on immigration yesterday. According to their report she said it is a “myth” that migrants use public services because they are “thick young men”.
“Go to Boston. Boston apparently has some of the highest numbers of migrant workers. It is a myth that these people are clogging up our social services and social housing. It is not true, because most of the people who work in Boston, to put it crudely, are thick young men. The last place you’ll find them is at the Pilgrim hospital [in Boston], apart from those that work in it.”
UPDATE: Soubry is claiming she has been misquoted by Press Association. She reckons she said “fit young men”.
UPDATE II: Here is the audio. She said “fit”.
Sounds like the PA reporter had a particularly bad conference hangover.
Does opposition to immigration come down to racism? pic.twitter.com/azknSkn8Xo
— Sunday with Paterson (@RidgeOnSunday) September 24, 2017
This got heated when Clive suggested Caroline was racist for supporting managed migration…