Tuesday, August 02, 2022

New Figures Show Brexit Has Failed To Take Back Control Of Immigration

Migrants in a flimsy inflatable boat attempting to get to England from France across one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Picture: https://scd.infomigrants.net/

 Just over six years ago, in the few weeks before the June 23 referendum day, although few were mentioning it openly the nation's attention was focused on immigration, and particularly the 'Brexit' campaign's promise to 'Take Back Control' of our borders. Today the immigration issue is as predominant in many people's minds, and even more unmentionable in polite company, as news this morning revealed that record numbers of migrants entered the country last year, while yesterday a record number of people were trying to make the hazardous crossing from France in small boats to enter the country illegally.

 From the application of human rights laws to the analysis of statistics, immigration can be a complex subject, and the public debate about it can be  deeply dishonest and has been for much longer than the six years since the referendum result was announced. But most of us ought to be able to agree some common-sense principles.

From bridging skill shortages and boosting business enterprise to adding to the cultural capital of the country, immigration can bring great benefits, but in the kind of numbers we have seen over the past 20 years numbers it can also cause social upheaval and civil unrest and so must be controlled. 

Control of the inflow of migrants, particularly those of low intelligence, with little education and no knowledge of the English language, needs well defined, easily enforcable laws, and a professional and hughly efficient border security officers. Decisions should not be made in the interests of foreign nationals, immigration lawyers or supranational organisations, but the British people, the nation as a whole. And the decision-makers themselves must be politicians, directly accountable to those who elect them and not lawyers, judges or unelected bureaucrats.

We have not yet seen meaningful post-Brexit immigration statistics but it is known We The People will not like them. In 2020, thanks to the pandemic, net migration fell by 88 per cent to just 34,000. In 2019, net migration was 271,000 – high, but not unusual for the past couple of decades, when the number exceeded 300,000 in several years. We can already see from the number of visas issued that immigration is about to soar again, probably to new record highs.

Comparing 2021 to 2019, from the available statistics work visas (239,987) are up 25 per cent, family visas (280,776) are up 49 per cent, and student visas (432,279) are up 52 per cent. More than a quarter of foreign students are Chinese, but the number of Nigerian students is up 415 per cent, Pakistani up 256 per cent and Indian up 164 per cent.

This exponential increase in immigrant numbere is not happening by chance. Even as the Government ended European free-movement rules after Brexit – a decision driven, pollsters agree, by concerns about sovereignty, democratic control and immigration – Boris Johnson, the neo Marxist leader of a nominally Conservative demanded a more liberal policy.

Limits on numbers of work permits to be issued were removed and the definition of “skilled work” was watered down. The shortage-occupation list was extended to allow the recruitment of foreign workers in yet more trades (including, presumably, sandwich stuffing and office cleaning.) Employers were no longer compelled to seek workers from the resident population before recruiting overseas labour. A salary threshold, supposedly set to ensure only high-skilled immigration, was set at £25,600 and for some workers only £20,400. Foreign students – whatever their qualification – were given the right to stay and work in Britain at the end of their courses. If Brexit hasd been about 'taking back control' then it had failed.

There's always a ponzi scheme behind large scale immigration that is self-defeating in the long run. It is notable that for all the proclaimed benefits of immigration, the influx over the past two and a half decades has not led to increased productivity or national prosperity, and any wealth generated always ends up in the hands of the same small handful of people rather than being distributed across society. If anything, the competition for resources has clearly made life more difficult for large swathes of British society (housing, access to social goods). Whenever someone talks about how immigration stimulates economic growth, I rebut with what we can call the Pret a Manger theory based on my observations since 1997:

Pret opens a new shop and staffs it with low wage immigrants fresh off the plane from abroad. The new workers use some of their wages to buy, among other things, food at Pret. Pret sees their revenues rise, and justifies opening more stores, and hires more low-wage workers from overseas. See the pattern? In theory the economy is expanding, but what does it mean for existing populations? The owners of Pret get richer, but existing populations have to deal with more competition for scarce housing or crowding more housing in existing areas, more people and more cars on the roads, demand for buses and public transport increases, leading to more need for even more infrastructure, which in turn needs to be funded. And same with NIH resources and capacity.

Is 2022 Britain "better off" than 1997 then? No, not really. Strip away the modern technologies and iPhones, it probably is worse off because it's even more expensive and more crowded.

I do know that prior to 1997 immigration to the UK was tightly regulated and tightly controlled. It was actually quite difficult and lengthy, which is why the numbers are so low. And it was because immigration was one of the few shared consensus between pre 1997 Labour and Tory, both parties mutually, unofficially, agreed on keeping it tightly controlled between the late 1960s and 1997. It really was Tony Blair and his New Labour who completely changed it. When people say it's impossible to control immigration, I always ask why, because it was very strictly controlled in the past and well within living memory. Even without national borders, how hard is it to severely fine and penalize those who employ illegal immigrants and severely restrict access to social services for people without any documented registration to be in the UK? That alone would achieve a great deal. 

But remember next time you have the opportunity to vote, while Labour and Conservatives blame each other for all the nations ills, since 1992 both have followed broadly the same globalist policies. Both are to blame. It is time for us voters to forget that old lie, "Better the devil you know," and find an alternative to vote for. Because while we continue to put 'the devil we know' in power, nothing will change for the better. 



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