Managing our borders

Mr Cameron and Mrs May both kept telling us the UK needed to cut the numbers of migrants coming to the UK. They chose to highlight a net figure, subtracting those who moved abroad from those who arrived. They wanted to get this new figure down to under 100,000. They got nowhere achieving this target.

Some objected to the idea of a net target. Every new migrant arriving needs a home and other support from public services. They often need benefit top up of their incomes. This needs to be done well and generously, and becomes difficult to do to a decent standard when the numbers become very large. The country did not have a sufficient supply of affordable housing, and was short of health and education capacity in the fast growing parts of the UK where many migrants arrived. An elderly couple with their own means moving to Spain for a few years did not compensate for the costs of the new  migrant arriving and needing social housing and other support. Indeed, the absence of the richer UK resident reduced the tax take.

Some said that Mr Cameron and Mrs May were unable to hit their target owing to a sudden surge in inward migration to the Uk from the rest of the EU. It is true there were big movements of people during this period. Many EU citizens were attracted to the UK by the jobs and relatively high wages compared to their home countries. It was also true that the government did not even hit the target for non EU migration which also continued at high levels.

Once out of the EU the government will lose the argument that it cannot hit its target owing to EU membership and freedom of movement. The government will need to set a fair migration policy for the whole world, removing preference for people coming from the continent. The system should mainly be based around an assessment of how many people with what skills levels we need to grant work permits. If people want to come and live here and have the means to support themselves that is no problem. We should also have a humane and proportionate policy towards asylum seekers. Current levels of gross and net migration are too high, damaging our ability to provide good homes and public services for all.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink


    You say:- “They got nowhere achieving this target.” Well they were never trying to achieve it. They knew full well it was just an election pledge to try to win votes and that. with the blatantly racist EU open door immigration and non EU immigration bad policy, they never could do. Even with non EU they failed to have sensible quality controls.

    Plus of course several countries sell EU passports to raise money anyway.

    • Simeon
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      “Even with non EU they failed to have sensible quality controls.”

      I am in no doubt that our membership of the EU has resulted in huge amounts of new laws over which Parliament had no say. The primary purpose of Brexit ought to be to regain control over our laws. That said, our own Parliament has initiated plenty of bad and/or unnecessary legislation that has nothing to do with the EU. This should never be forgotten, and ought to be addressed urgently and forcefully.

      Simply being free of the EU will not automatically result in pure, and therefore good, British governance. In fact, one could be forgive for fearing that pure British governance may be worse than EU-influenced governance. A possible example of this would be BJ attempting to out-green the EU, whether as a result of personal conviction, or to demonstrate that Brexit does not equate to a leftist caricature of fascist dictatorship.

      The key point is that, in the event of Brexit, it will be possible to have good governance – a possibility membership of the EU doesn’t allow for. But there is little, if any, reason to believe that the Conservative party will provide it. Indeed, there is no party that offers this prospect with any degree of certainty. Ultimately, the people are going to have to want good governance, and have some idea of what it looks like, for it to become a reality in the UK. Such is democracy.

      • sm
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Yes, you are correct. Too much virtue-signalling, too little common sense.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          Indeed we take your taxes of you (the highest for 50 years) and then we use them to try to buy votes, for propaganda adverts, telling you how dirty London air is, virtue signalling, inconveniencing businesses and the public (by fining, licensing, controlling, prohibiting, tying up in red tape).

          Then we tell you how wonderful the NHS or Schools are (but most have no choice anyway) Or we encourage your children to get into £50K of debt at 6% interest for thirty years for a degree that is probably of zero real value.

          • steve
            Posted July 28, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink


            “Or we encourage your children to get into £50K of debt”

            But it’s ok because Scottish students done have that problem. (sarc)

            Fantastic ! init ?

            Seriously though, a classic case of soft English government giving in to threats and whingeing by the SNP and ending up with a situation which is clearly racist against the English.

            Same with prescriptions too.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

            Indeed and EU student do not have to pay in Scotland either (nor very often in England) as they can get the soft loans and are rather less likely to repay them after they return home!

            Meanwhile British students (who are living outside the EU before they go to university) get no soft loans and have to pay overseas fees very often too. This even if their parents are paying tax in the UK.

      • IanT
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Agreed – but once out of the EU, there will be no excuses for our elected leaders and we can gauge them on their successes (or failures) and judge them accordingly. It is too easy at the moment to blame the EU for many things that are actually within our control.

        The “Buck Stops Here” will hopefully apply to the whole of Westminster (both Politicians and Civil Servants alike) and we can then decide if they are competent enough for our needs. I’d like to think that quality and efficiency will improve – but I’m braced for disappointment…

        • Ian!
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          That is why Parliament for the most part is ‘Remain’. Not only do they get someone else to blame, it is someone else in charge – they are puppets to a higher authority.

    • Hope
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Asylum seekers policy since 2003 never represented what the govt was doing. Under Labour the govt went on a drive to find them! Tories continued hoping no one would challenge it for fear of being smeared or labelled as cruel, insensitive or racist etc. 2008 Reid declared Home Office was not fit for purpose. When did that change and how was it declared fit before Mayhab lost over two hundred thousand illegal immigrants and it was declared under Rudd they lost another 56,000! We also read of those that should be legally deported only a small fraction actually occurs. Immigration outside EU still way out of control.

      Osborne declared no one was serious in govt to reducing/achieving targets. Mass immigration to create growth without infrastructure to support while taxes at fifty year high. Tories not fit to govern. Further scams and lies will not change the position.

    • tim
      Posted July 29, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      yes, rubber boat just off coast of Libya, Rescued by their chaity ship to Italy. Italy gives them EU pasport then to uk to sponge for the rest of their lives

  2. Pominoz
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Immigration is a great thing. The world gets smaller and movement around by people with something to is to be encouraged.

    However, control of how many arrive and knowledge of their skills is vital. Those allowed in should each have something of benefit to offer. Race, colour, language, religion are all irrelevant if the attitude is right. The actual numbers allowed in is critical, as is the availability of jobs and infrastructure. The Aussie points system, when there is strict control of borders, works very well and with effective management by Government should work equally well in the UK.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed the Australian system seems sensible subject to a requirement to give proper humane treatment to genuine asylum seekers.

      By and large, except for criminals, terrorists, hate preachers and welfare tourists, all should be welcome if they clearly have the means to support themselves. If not perhaps potential employers should pay up where they wish to recruit lower paid immigrant Workers. Beyond that it will have to be a points system of some sort.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      Some immigration is good and some is rather bad. Surely we should try our best to encourage the former and reject the latter. Is this not fairly obvious?

      But not to politicians of the left or the BBC, to them it is all good. To them you are for it or you are a thick, anti EU, far right, racist. Even the violent criminal with his large family, large medical and large social service/criminal justice needs, housing and schooling needs, with little English and living on benefits or criminal proceeds is to be encouraged it seems.

    • Hope
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      The inspectorate recently claimed in no stretch of the imagination are our borders secure. Considering two atrocities where the perpetrators came in and out of EU it should be a priority as national security to keep us safe. Anything but under Mayhab.

      • Simeon
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        One question I have is, How do we propose to take back control of our borders if we have an ‘invisible’ border between Northern Ireland and the Republic? The goods and services aspect of this border has attracted much attention. But what about movement of people within the island of Ireland? Are we to depend on Ireland, and by extension the EU, to maintain the integrity of their borders in this regard in order to secure our own?

        • Mark
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          Anyone who isn’t Irish sticks out like a sore thumb in Ireland. The issue is whether the authorities will make appropriate use of that. Border patrol isn’t needed.

    • James1
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Many countries (not least theUSA) owe their existence to early immigrants. But that was a different kind of immigration. Immigration to a welfare state is a completely different proposition. Clearly, whilst welfare state rules apply it is to be expected that there will be limits placed upon the number of arrivals. Certainly, the Australian system of selecting immigrants based upon perceived skill shortages within their economy is arguably the best for all concerned.

      • Simeon
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        The reckless generosity of our welfare system is obviously a significant driver of immigration. Other countries within the EU with more sensible welfare regimes have not suffered as we have.

        EU migrants have come to the UK because our economy is less bad than many others in the EU. The UK’s well-earned reputation for tolerance is another big factor, as, no doubt, is the English language, which for many is their second language. But successive UK governments have presided over and extended our welfare system, without any EU input.

        I believe it is better to think about Brexit in terms of allowing the people of the UK to properly hold their politicians to account, rather than escaping from the malign influence of the EU (which is not to say that the EU’s influence is not malign; it undoubtedly is. But the correct emphasis reduces complacency regarding UK politicians).

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          The rules on immigration could be quite simple and were simply stated on my wife’s settlement Visa. “No recourse to public funds”.

          I think it is reasonable to say that anyone arriving can not use public services or access the benefit system until they have been here, continuously employed for two years.

          That will sort the wheat from the chaff. Moving countries is difficult, why should the taxpayer help?

      • Bellboy
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        When I first went to Australia in 1964 I had no passport- none was required. The same thing when I went back again in 1966. In 1967 I went to the US and had no passport but managed to get through Immigration ok with birth don’t know what all the fuss is about these days

    • L Jones
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Spot on, Pominoz. As you’re living in Australia (lucky you) I presume you have a skill that is needed there, or you are able to bring in enough money to be a welcomed investor and are therefore granted a right of residency.

      Are those rules ever applied here? Or is the policy to let anyone in who wants to come, to stay as long as they like, with or without the necessary qualification or checks?

      Most definitely, prospective employers should be obliged to ensure that their incoming employees are supported at their expense.

      • Pominoz
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink


        Would you believe that after 17 years here as a pensioner, suffering a UK frozen state pension, I am still only a temporary resident and not entitled to Medicare (think NHS), therefore have to pay for my own health insurance. This allows me access to both private and state healthcare facilities, all of which are incredible efficient.

        Not a perfect situation as regards residency, but one day, perhaps, I may be granted permanent residency.

        This is a great country. Friendly diverse people, incredible wine, meat and seafood – and the weather is not bad either! Winter around 12 c overnight, 24c during the day. I am not complaining.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink


      Don’t the Australians pride themselves on being the offspring of the criminal and unwanted classes who were shipped there as punishment? The very ones who made the country successful?

      No points system in existence then.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        I feel sorry for you Margaret, It must be very difficult to see clearly with such a narrow field of vision.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    The people who have come to settle have settled now. I know several of them. Yes, there are the rogues, the swindlers and the people traffickers, but most are decent folk with English children. They have already been given the paperwork to stay – even if they do not speak English. If, that is, they bother to collect it.

    The Australian system works very well in Cairns where I have often been. Australia is not UK by any stretch of the imagination. But what else is there?

    We cannot go on like we are. When Brexit happens, there is bound to be some economic disorder and, yes, chaos for a couple of months until we sort it. Then, I am sure we will. It will be a good opportunity to get us onto a more sensible approach.

    In both Singapore and certainly the UAE there is a system, run by the government, of personal identity. Facial recognition and a swathe of camera checks. Checking up on mobile phone usage (UAE), identity cards. I think this ought to be re-examined now by our own police force, assuming they are not already doing it.

    • hefner
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Facial recognition has been a standard procedure (at least at LHR and LGW airports) as part of the automatic passport control for UK-EEA citizens for, I would think, at least five years.

      • hefner
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Sorry, it must have become operational only from Spring 2017, before that it must have been at LGW a ‘testing’ period for willing Guinea pigs

    • Hope
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      John Longworth writes a good article in Conservative Woman that should be read.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      We cannot go on like we are.

      This needs to be said and repeated far and wide. Because it is the simple TRUTH ! Those in the Westminster bubble really need to stop and look at our transport system – It is barley coping. Same too with the NHS.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Boris’s amnesty.

      If there is no accompanying tightening of borders – and a serious one at that – then we have just another capitulation on uncontrolled immigration and is the very thing that we voted against in 2016 and for all the reasons outlined in the article above.

      They should leave the illegals as illegals. Let them get on with the tacit approval they already have and when they misbehave there is no need for a trial to deport them.

      Legitimise them and you reward a queue jumper who has no regard for paperwork and it is done at the expense of someone who has done everything the right way. When they commit another crime it will not be their first and probably one of many.

      Suggesting that an illegal migrant is paying tax is as wacky as a driver having a legal limit of cannabis in his system when he crashes – yet a person can now do both in this crazy situation that has been created on the sly and out of sight of the public. Both the legalisation of cannabis by stealth and the abolition of our country by stealth.

      • forthurst
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        The Chairman of Migrationwatch has set up a Petition on the Government and Parliament website, “Rule out any prospect of granting an amnesty on illegal immigration”, which is the fastest growing petition at the moment.

    • acorn
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Your last paragraph implies you are in favour of a police state; total surveillance of the population. Singapore has one million migrant workers in a population of five million. They are treated like dirt, paid $15 a day, when they get paid, and have little legislated protection. Nice place!

      • acorn
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        BTW. In my continuing desperate attempts to educate leave voters into how the economy actually works; I need to bring to your attention to the following.

        Particularly Section 3 fig 1. “Summary of net lending or borrowing positions by sector”. You will see for the last quarter, every one of the five primary sectors of the economy, is running a deficit to pay for the increased imports.

        Also, you will see that as the government sector reduces its budget deficit it transfers its deficit to the private sector. Hence, UK households have been spending more than their incomes – hence borrowing – for ten quarters now.

        BTW. The UK is not “borrowing” from foreigners. The only place you can get Pounds Sterling is from the UK Treasury, the currency issuer, nobody else makes them. The UK is exporting Pounds Sterling to foreigners in exchange for imports. As long as foreigners are prepared to hold Pounds Sterling as foreign currency reserves or as Chelsea mansions, no worries; but, if they take fright …?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          That’s odd acorn because I’ve got several credit cards each with tens of thousands of pounds of credit limit available to me and a business account with a large available overdraft facility.
          Yet according to you only the Treasury can give me pounds.
          Apart from that there are the assets I own that I can sell and then there is the cash I hold, some in foreign currencies.
          Do I fit in your economic theory about how in your opinion the UK economy works.?

          • acorn
            Posted July 29, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            You need to understand the difference between government “money” and non-government “credit”; and, financial assets and non-financial assets.

            Private sector Banks issue credit. If they have a Banking licence and a “reserves” account at the central bank, they are allowed to call the “credit units” they issue, via loans to borrowers, one for one, Pounds Sterling.

            Everything in the (horizontal) credit world sums to zero, assets equal liabilities. The (vertical) government created money world, has no such restraints. Have a look at this diagram.

            Bill Mitchell’s blog “Deficit spending 101 – Part 3”, is worth a read.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 29, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for your reply acorn.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    It is reported that Philip Hammond held private talks with Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer shortly before Boris Johnson entered Downing Street last Wednesday, to plot cross-party moves aimed at preventing the new prime minister agreeing to a no-deal Brexit. This presumably to ensure that only a bad deal will be offered and we thus leave with no deal. Surely this is pure treachery against the UK’s interests? Why did May select and retain such a dire man as Chancellor? He has learned nothing from May’s and his pathetic three years of failure.

    Any Questions yesterday once again had only one leaver (and this was Geoffrey Cox who voted for May’s appalling, leave in name only deal three times) so he hardly qualifies.
    Plus Cox has swallowed all the climate alarmist lunacy. As of course had everyone else on the BBC selected panel of lefty pro EU art graduates. I suppose as they have no science they feel that cannot challenge “BBC think” alarmist lunacy.

    Then this is followed by touchy feely (and desperately PC and “BBC think”) Anita Anand with Any Answers. Someone called in to sensibly point out that if you cannot walk away in a house purchase you are, in effect, agreeing to whatever price they ask for. Her response was to carry the analogy further to say – but we have a date 31st October after which we will be made homeless! Does all UK property become that of the EU’s then on this date Anita I had not realised that? English graduates (and indeed actor types) do so often seem to have their own bonkers, inside out and upside down, versions of reason and logic?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Dan Hannan today:- Boris Johnson knows Brussels better than anyone. He’s not bluffing about no-deal.

      Let’s hope he is right and that the EU believe this too. Also that the traitor MPs Bercow and the dire tax to death ex-Chancellor do not undermine him as they did to the pathetic EUphile Theresa May.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        LL the EU will only believe Boris once he shows that he has Parliament on board.
        So it will be interesting to see him achieve that and I really hope that he does 🙂

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Not easy with all those Hammond, Grieve, Soames, Clark, Gauke, Berkow types – trying undermining both him and the country at every turn.

      • Bellboy
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        Dan Hannan aside- the EU believes absolutely that Boris and the ERG crowd are not bluffing and are hellbent on leaving 31st Oct without a deal if they cannot get the WA reopened, and they further believe there’s nothing much they can or will do about it except watch it happen- the WA is already signed off by 28 governments- it cannot be reopened. If it is not ratified this side of the 31st October then the terms of it will still be waiting the other side on the 31st- UK’s choice

        • Edward2
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          Well that’s not correct Bellboy.
          The EU negotiation team can decide to place an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement to the leaders if the 27 nations.
          And if they decide to sign the amended version it then becomes the second version.
          It can be reopened, because it has never actually been agreed by both sides.

      • Ian!
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        The amazing bit Hammond and his awkward squad in 2017 to get voted in, and get the taxpayer to pay their wages, promised in writing to their constituents the following “We will no longer be members of the single market or customs union” and “no-deal is better than a bad deal”.

        You have to ask is this fraud and why haven’t their local Conservative Association sort their resignations as MP’s?

    • Simeon
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Cox has many ‘green’ friends in the cabinet, not least BJ himself. Expect a raft of damaging and deranged climate policies as a central plank in BJ’s charm offensive to demonstrate that Brexit is not incompatible with progressive politics. If he’s in power long enough that is.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully it will be just green wash hot air and not insane actions, regulations, daft green subsidies and yet more taxes.

        • Simeon
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          One can hope.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink


      ” English graduates (and indeed actor types) do so often seem to have their own bonkers, inside out and upside down, versions of reason and logic?”

      Can one read between the lines that you failed to get a place at university?

      • M Davis
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, you come across as being a very bitter person. Why? Is it because you are a ‘remainer’ and cannot stand losing? I was taught in junior school, 70 years ago, NOT to be a bad loser!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Not sure what you are on about, Cambridge University and Manchester University – Mathematics/Physics/Solid State Physics/Electronics.

        Not that good at English spelling though or indeed French I freely admit.

  5. J Bush
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Why won’t politicians put in place a policy whereby, only after migrants have contributed into the National coffers via IT and NI for 5 years, can they make a claim for any sort of social benefit?

    Until they do, I am increasingly of the opinion that those who insist on continued mass immigration, want to give amnesty for illegals should pay for them, not the electorate at large.

  6. Leaver
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Immigration is a tough question. Look at Japan. They have an aging population who desperately need young people from abroad to look after them.

    Even then, the government can’t sell immigration to the people, so they try to get Koreans to come in as carers for a few years, then kick them out before they apply for citizenship.

    The Koreans think this is unfair. I can’t imagine why.

    In future we too are likely to need many unskilled carers to look after the elderly. How will these many unskilled workers fit into a points system? Also it may be politically toxic.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Surely a points system can accommodate whatever kind of workers are required, and can be changed and adjusted according to need. And it doesn’t have to exclude so-called ‘unskilled’ people if they are are needed.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      We have a population boom.

      • Dennis
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Population boom – yes and now we have 50 million too many people in the UK, IMO. At 10 million we would still be more populated than many European countries which don’t seem to be crying out for a populations of more that 60 million – I wonder why not?

    • Mark B
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      The Japanese have their heads screwed on. They are also using robots in basic menial healthcare roles in place of people. Food, drugs and even the moving of patients can be done by them. No union, no sickness, no pay, always on call 24/7. Our lot go for what they think is the cheap option and bring in low skilled workers from abroad. Ludites!

    • Simeon
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Japan’s plight would have been ours were it not for the influx of immigrants. UK immigration policy has been abominable, but that is not to say that we can do without immigrants, or even that immigrants can be an overwhelmingly positive thing.

      • Dennis
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Japan’s plight may be so now but when that cohort old people die off the population will be left with a manageable size due to now fewer marriages and children resulting in less pollution of all sorts, fewer energy needs, cheaper housing(?), less environmental damage, etc., etc. If countries with less than 10 million people can live happily why need more?

  7. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I suppose we could say that immigration is yet one of the problems foisted on us by the EU, but the UN was very much behind the push to change our culture forever, and we stupidly signed UN treaties to this effect.
    Fake promises from Cameron and May show just how powerless and inept they were.
    We can change things in the future to make immigrants adapt to the British way of life, but the problem we have that will come to roost very soon is the millions that have already come to our country and refuse to either adapt or contribute, but expect us to adapt to them. Unless this is confronted, and very soon etc ed

    • L Jones
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      ”WE stupidly signed….” No, that May did. Sneakily.

    • Andy
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Here’ s a thought.

      Maybe it is not ‘them’ who are refusing to adapt. Maybe it’s you?

      I was born in London and – aside from 5 years living abroad – have been here all of my life.

      Precisely nobody has ever stopped me from having a ‘British way of life’.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        I’ve lived abroad plenty, and It was necessary to adjust oneself to the local social environment….

        Your ‘maybe’ comment Andy shows that you have no concept of what is going on here, which does rather invalidate your ideas…

      • Fred H
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        You always come across as such an ungrateful, miserable, whingeing sort of citizen – not at all what typical Brits are like. You pay for primary education, of course, having your children mix with others who are possibly here on dubious status? Perhaps you would enlighten us?

  8. Leslie Singleton
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–Never did get why you have apparently to say migration which is what wildebeests do crossing the Serengeti or whereever. Of course immigration has to be strongly controlled. The way to drive up hostility to immigrants is to pretend that the “culture” aspects don’t matter. For a start they of course don’t know our history and when they do are as like as not not going to be proud of it. I think this matters a lot to a lot of people and that diversity has already gone too far.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      I spend a lot of time in Canada. I can only speak for the part of the country I know well – but it has always seemed to me that, yes, the population is multi-racial, but its CULTURE is Canadian.

  9. GilesB
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Population increase impacts more than demand for social housing. It places demands on all infrastructure including housing, roads, schools, hospitals, water services, energy, telecoms etc.

    In the UK there is about one million pounds of infrastructure for each inhabitant. Over time each extra head of population leads to an extra one million invested in infrastructure. That is investment that does not go into improving commercial and industrial productivity. Investment in industry barely covers obsolescence. Insufficient investment, due to competing demands for public infrastructure, is a major factor in the UK’s low productivity.

    • Dennis
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      GilesB – very good points. And the cost of all that increases pointless GDP from which we calculate expenditure on defence and foreign aid etc. Very stupid.

  10. Andy
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    You forget to mention a key part of the government strategy for keeping foreigners out.

    Faced with Europe’s biggest wave of refugees since the holocaust the Conservative strategy was to do as little as possible to help.

    It paid poor countries like Lebanon and Turkey to have some.

    It allowed countries like Greece and Italy to take more than their share.

    It appear happy enough to let countless people drown in the Med – anything so long as they didn’t end up polluting the shires.

    Immigration is a non problem. We have plenty of space. If we need more houses we can build them – less than 10% of our country is built up. What we really need to do is change the minds of (predominantly) elderly bigots who just don’t like foreigners.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Who will pay to build all the new houses, school places, roads, police etc.? Most of the people coming in will be on low wages and will pay very little if any net taxes. They will also lower the wages of other so they will pay less too. The 50% of the population on less than average wages pay less tax in than they take out in immediate benefits and schooling etc. Look at the numbers for once!

    • Jagman84
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Spoken like a true champagne socialist.
      There are international rules on asylum,with applying to the first safe territory, which are routinely ignored. The genuine cases are trampled underfoot by the illegals and economic migrants. We have no duty whatsoever to the latter, as you well know. It appears that everyone is a Syrian to the people traffickers.

      • Andy
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Spoken like someone who has never been a refugee.

        Most refugees end up in camps. They often spend years, sometimes decades there. Through no fault of their own.

        Imagine that. The same food to eat every night. No work. No status. A 5 minute walk to get water. No toilet.

        Can you imagine? Of course you can’t. They have no life and it is not their fault because, around the world, people like you do not want them.

        Some refugees – not many but some – seek a better life for themselves their kids in countries where they may speak some of the language. Which may be here.

        They do not seek to come here to upset you. The do not come for the weather. Or the housing. Or the benefits.

        They come when it is the least worst option.

        You are just a civil war or a natural disaster away from being a refugee yourself. Do not assume it will not happen to you. It might.

        If it does you just better hope that they are not as irrationally hostile to you as you are to them.

        • Jagman84
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          The asylum rules are there for a reason. The blatant disregard for them by virtue-signalling politicians and lefty ‘nobility’ like you, who boast of the wealth that allows you to avoid the fall-out of the consequences, is the real problem. Genuine cases are fine by me. Illegal chancers can go elsewhere. Your jaundiced attitude makes it more difficult for the former.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          Andy, a genuine refugee would be grateful to escape whatever tyranny they flee from, and settle in the next country. Why is it they seem to cross at least 6 countries (and usually pay for passage) to get to Britain? And as you point out regularly the place is inhabited by money grabbing, old, white folks who pretend not to be racist.

        • Pud
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          If they don’t come for housing or benefits why do they travel through so many perfectly safe European countries before arriving in the UK where they suddenly remember they are in need of asylum? I must agree they probably aren’t coming for the weather.
          The UK government should return to France anyone who travels hete from France then claims asylum, unless of course they are a French citizen being persecuted by their government.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      And what about (predominantly) remoaner bigots who just don’t like the elderly? How do we change THEIR narrow minds?

      • bill brown
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        L Jones,

        Thank for a very deep and well argued and valuable contribution to the debate, very helpful

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          Bill, I liked it.

    • Shirley
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      I keep hearing that less than 10% of country is built on, as if it is relevant in any way. Just how much of our country is capable of being on? You conveniently omit to mention lakes, mountains, steep hills, woods and forests, SSI’s, etc. Do we need land for food production, of course we do, and not all land could, or should, be used for food production and housing, unless you promote the complete destruction of wildlife. Do we want the whole of the UK to be covered in tower blocks? I certainly don’t.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Hear, hear Shirley. Farm land is disappearing at an alarming rate. Food production is at risk if we carry on.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          A slight correction…..FARMED land is disappearing because no profit can be made out of it. Successive governments and supermarkets have ensured its demise. Enjoy what is left before everything is French.

        • Martin
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          Why bother with food production? I thought the best bit of Brexit would be to buy cheap food on the world market and dump the Common Agricultural Policy (and its re-branded post -Brexit version the British Agricultural Policy).

          Down with the Corn Laws!

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Start with infilling Beaconsfield gardens and using up spare bedrooms there.

    • ukretired123
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Dearest Andy pandy

      Your Pathetic bigoted, negative corrosive comments as usual.
      Don’t you ever have a day off to treat yourself?

      Smearing wise old folks in Britain seems your “Chosen Special Subject”.
      You have been indoctrinated by the EU propaganda and BBC.v

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      What is even more depressing in this immigration debate is the fact that Britain sent millions of its people to settle in more parts of the globe than any other country in the world. America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc are English speaking because of 17/18/19th century migration and transportation policies to push unwanted/criminal citizens out of the way.

      But now when the roles are reversed they shout loudest about the menace of foreigners.


      • Edward2
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        It wasn’t millions who left the UK centuries long ago.
        But it is millions who have come here since 2000.
        The biggest increase in the population of the UK in our history.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        The women and the working class weren’t enfranchised until 1918 and so didn’t have anything to do with making those policies.

  11. Will Jones
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    It’s not just about economics, as though we should let in an indefinite number of well off immigrants. It’s also about culture and not having our culture and way of life continually eroded by having to share the country with more and more people of very different cultural outlooks and commitments. That’s why the numbers are important as well as how well skilled they are. There is also the point that skilled immigration impacts on the jobs available for Brits and takes skilled people away from other countries who may need them more.

  12. Tabulazero
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile the Windrush scandal is repeating itself this time with British citizens from the Chagos island.

    You should be honest and admit that 9 years of austerity and public cuts engineered by the Tories have degraded the ability to provide basic public services.

    Blaming the immigrants is a cheap trick.

    • Dominic
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      He’s not blaming immigrants. He’s blaming government based politicians, their advisors and the administrative class that have deliberately brought us to this point and done so with political and electoral intent

      The Tory party have continually ceded ground on this issue for fearing of having the race card playing against them rather than responding in a common sense manner and turning the debate away from race (thereby defusing Labour’s liberal left identity politics agenda and weapon of slander) and into one of numbers and expensive public provision for increasing numbers of people. But no. The Tories, as ever, utterly clueless. When it comes to tactical politics on how to neutralise the Labour on these issues they falter badly. One can only assume they’re part of the plan

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      We faced a financial crash for which Labour had left us unprepared.

    • Dennis
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Andy – you seem to know nothing about ecology.

  13. George Brooks
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    A cross between the Australian points system and the American system whereby a company seeking overseas staff has to prove conclusively they have tried to fill the vacancies with UK residents will work.

    However it has to be coupled with a ban on those who come here legally bringing in aged relatives who are overloading the NHS and social services. Twenty five years ago these services were ”treading water” but ever since Blair, Cameron and May got into No 10 they have been sinking rapidly and the cost to the tax payer becoming unsustainable.

    We have to be ruthless if we wish to get immigration under control and the country will benefit in every respect.

  14. agricola
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I would point out that the half of immigration, none EU , that was always in the control of the Home Office and Government, aka T May was never controlled.

    As Pominoz points out immigration has great potential benefits for the UK, but based on the points system he experiences in Australia.

    We do not need the flood of economic migrants engineered by Blair in the UK or Merkel in Germany. In every sense from terrorism, crime, and social burdon, they were a disaster. However our door needs to remain open to political refugees as it has to our ultimate benefit over hundreds of years. The acceptance of our laws, language, and the whole panoply of social behavior should be expected of immigrants as a norm. We cannot be expected to accept as a norm the rules and habits that are indigenous to parts of the World from which said immigrants are leaving/escaping. This is why I not only approve a points system, but also an on approval period before confirmation of their right to be in the UK is given. Our UK liberal, pc, sloppy approach to this, and what it has resulted in, accounts for much of the resentment of immigrants that has built over the last fifty years. We have been the cause of an immigrant problem, just as much as the immigrants themselves.

    Having said all the above, we could not have existed without them. Our much loved NHS would not exist without them. Long ago I worked in an organisation , the experience from which I learnt that you could not pre judge peoples qualities from their colour, sex,accent ,origens, or the clothes they wore. The judgement was how they interacted with others, reacted to really serious and dangerous challenges and supported others as they faced the same. At times it could be warfare without the bullets. People have to be judged as individuals and individuals alone.

    • agricola
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Whatever iswrong with this that it is left unpublished. Most of it is going to be your governments policy ere long. Read it carefully and reconsider.

  15. Mick
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    It’s a fact as soon as the Labour Party open the floodgates we were going to be the destination for the poorest in Europe to come to the land of milk and honey and who wouldn’t, I still remember the pictures around Marble Arch of migrants treating it like a refugee camp, then there’s the figures that keep getting released about homelessness in London of cause they don’t break the figures down to let us know how many are migrants who are here legal and illegal

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Well, I’ll shortly be off to Royal Brompton Hospital, where the staff could form their own United Nations and on the surface at least everybody gets along OK with each other, and I have yet to overhear anybody saying they are going back home to escape the persecution they are suffering as unwanted immigrants in this country, and moreover they all seem to get along OK with patients who also have a wide range of national and racial origins.

    I suppose it is partly what people in that part of London have become used to over many decades, but it is also important that they are all checked to be of a high enough standard and they all speak English, the standard working language at the hospital.

    It may be the rather old-fashioned punctilious English common among the educated classes in the old colonies, especially the sub-continent, or it may be slightly inaccurate English, and it comes with a wide variety of accents, but there is rarely any serious communication problem.

    So it can be done, if the admission system is well-controlled rather than just offering an open door to potentially billions of people who choose to come here, and nobody need call anybody a racist for saying that it should be controlled.

    I will just add that I was and still am utterly disgusted that my MP chose to take the vile advice of a civil servant that well-behaved people from the rest of the EU who have settled here at the invitation of our government should be treated as “bargaining chips”, with the futures of their families in this country being made conditional upon the good behaviour of politicians in their countries of origin. That should never have happened, it was an utter disgrace from somebody who calls herself a Christian, and I am very glad that at last Boris Johnson has given them a unilateral guarantee that they have nothing to fear.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I agree. BREXIT Is about regaining our sovereignty, not an oppotunity to stick it too Johnny Foreigner.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      @ Denis

      “I will just add that I was and still am utterly disgusted that my MP chose to take the vile advice of a civil servant that well-behaved people from the rest of the EU who have settled here at the invitation of our government should be treated as “bargaining chips””

      It was not just the feeling of overwhelming shame felt at the time, it was the observation of incomprehensible stupidity; for goodness sake, there was surely going, eventually, to be some sort of workable agreement at the end of negotiations anyway, whereby both parties would have agreed reciprocal agreements regarding settled foreign residents. We could have safely issued broad reassurance that well-behaved EU citizens would be allowed, welcome even, to remain indefinitely. However negotiations progressed, were either negotiating party going to propose seriously that there would be mass expulsions from either side of the channel? Really?

      The UK Government could have begun negotiations with a moral high ground valued so much higher than any £39billion, indeed priceless. But that high ground was relinquished, and the reason has since become clear over time. Yes, vile, utterly vile behaviour.

    • agricola
      Posted July 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Agree with you Dennis. Quite unexpectedly on a routine visit to the UK, having spent my working life here and paid UK tax for many years after I retired and left, I found myself a patient of the NHS.

      Not only were they medically very thorough, swift, and comprehensive, but very compassionate with it. Like you I met a range of nationalities, enabling conversations about parts of the World with which we were both familiar. All conducted in impeccable English, often better than that of our natives. Some turns of phrase were quite delightful. They brought to memory an article I read while at a hotel in Madras in the Hindu Times. It referred to a problem with “Eve Seekers”. It was a while before I realised they were talking about kerb crawlers. I thought what a charming way of putting it.

      The ministrations of the NHS are now over and I am now free from infection. In my contact with the NHS I concluded that the staff were dedicated to the job in hand and displayed the same thoroughness as a pilot before taking to the air. Nationality was irrelevant.

      It is obvious that where the service falls short it is down to lack of money and personnel. You cannot replace hips without orthopaedic surgeons. This comes down to politics that have caused inadequate numbers to have been trained and facilities to have been created. Plus I would add a host of bad decisions by politicians. The one thing that is not missing is the dedication of the staff.

      Anyone questioning the status of the NHS’s international staff is showing signs of insanity. To my mind they will always be welcome. I only feel sorry that they will not find their host country up to the standards they were led to believe while in their home countries.

      • agricola
        Posted July 30, 2019 at 4:53 am | Permalink

        This post is long overdue for moderation.

  17. Trevor Butler
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    The UK government would do well to study the Hong Kong system – Not points based but job offer based with the deciding factor being “Can a Hong Konger fill the position?”…

    • Fred H
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      same in OZ.

  18. Kevin
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    There seems to be a presumed right in justice for anyone from any part
    of the globe to migrate to the UK. Why? Has the entire world turned into a
    mere nation of shopkeepers? If so, we should not interfere with the right of
    migrants to raise their children as they see fit. Or are their opinions that
    you expect migrants to embrace, thereby excluding certain cultures?

  19. Fed up with the bull
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I agree with Pominoz. The points system used in Australia and in Canada does seem to work well. I remember looking into the possibility of moving to both countries a few years ago. My husband has a City and Guilds in heating and plumbing and is a central heating designer and worked as a Quality Controller for a very large British energy provider for 33 years so certainly knows his stuff. I have secretarial skills. We passed the entrance test on the job suitability front but not our age. Because my husband was 50 at the time we would not have been allowed in even though we would have been able to afford private health care and our own home. We are far too lax in this country. Why, for goodness sake, are we inviting in people who we have to fund? Don’t we have enough of our own people to help because their wages are too low to manage rent etc? We really must get real on immigration and stop calling everyone a racist when they bring up the subject. Let’s all grow up a bit and face reality. Yes, it would be lovely to be able to say to every homeless individual in the world come on in but we all know that is impossible. As it is now, we don’t know anything about most of the people arriving on our doorsteps having come over in boats or arriving in the backs of lorries. No wonder our security forces are busy!!

  20. Mark B
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    They often need benefit top up of their incomes.

    So they are not all doctors, nurses, scientists and engineers then ? We need high calibre people, people that, as this article points out further down, that can support themselves and their families and add real value and benefit to the country and its economy.

    Once out of the EU the government will lose the argument that it cannot hit its target owing to EU membership . . .

    This is a very disingenuous comment. The UK, whilst still in the EU could always reduce non-EU immigration but, non-EU immigration has been running far higher. The truth is, that the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, both for varying reasons, have been happy to allow this. So I do not expect any change there.

    The system should mainly be based around an assessment of how many people with what skills levels we need to grant work permits.

    Business will never have enough since it requires a large pool to keep labour costs down. ie It will always demand and lobby for higher numbers and a lower skills threshold.

    We should also have a humane and proportionate policy towards asylum seekers.

    This is the other side of the coin and I think deserves its own piece. But I will say this. I find it curious that someone can travel all the way to the UK, leaving their families at home, through safe and peaceful Europe, and arrive at the shores of Calais trying to get in the UK illegally. And we now have a PM that seems to wants encourage them through his ill thought out policy of an amnesty to try and cross a treacherous and very busy waterway. The mind boggles !

    We need to get industry and commerce in the less developed countries going. This can only be done through trade and not endless handouts which create corruption and increases the gap between the haves and have nots. We need a very tough and demanding immigration policy. We need to accept that, more and more industry and commerce, including government, is being outsourced to other countries. ie We don’t need all these people. So stop the Human Ponzi Scheme designed to artificially inflate the economy and put the country on a correct footing.

    • Simeon
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      EU immigration could have been much reduced by establishing a sensible welfare and benefits system. Successive governments have failed badly. Leaving the EU would not end our problems. It would be an opportunity to address our problems comprehensively. Achieving Brexit is but the first step in sorting out this country. Perhaps one day we might see a government willing and able to do this, but there’s nothing on the horizon…

  21. Dominic
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    ‘They are not naturally compassionate’

  22. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    My British family in South Africa were deprived of their British Citizenship rights when ‘citizens’ were invented to replace the rights that subjects had. They have exclusively British genes and therefore no homeland but the U.K. – they are judges, barristers, businessmen, professors of medicine, doctors and electronic engineers. Their children have no right to return ‘home’ to the U.K. so my cousins are excluded too. Moreover as Africa becomes increasingly dangerous for all non-Africans (Australia recognises there is a white genocide) they are going everywhere but the U.K. don’t you want you own flesh and blood providing world class medical care? Justice? And the white-heat of technology? Restore the British citizenship removed from genetically British people immediately! It is their birthright that a rogue parliament took from them.

    • Kajagoogoo
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      “British genes”? What utter rubbish is this?

      • agricola
        Posted July 29, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        I think he means British or for that matter Dutch people who some hundreds of years ago went out to seek their fortunes in South Africa. That they ran South Africa until recently and now find themselves unwanted there should make them and their professioal talents very welcome in the UK post Brexit. I for one would be very pleased to welcome them.

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted July 29, 2019 at 2:05 am | Permalink

      @Lynn Atkinson

      You are right, but unfortunately you are talking to a brick wall as most British people have been brainwashed into accepting their own ethnic replacement, even enthusiastically supporting it.

    • hefner
      Posted July 29, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Which of your 23 pairs of chromosomes define your British genes? And if some in your family moved to South Africa at one stage, did they not adapt one way or another to the SA way of life including its politics. Why do you consider that the ‘mother country’ should provide them with a security blanket if the going is possibly getting tougher? Do you plan to ask the PM or your MP to send a gunboat to save these family-related British genes?

      • agricola
        Posted July 29, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Accurate gene analysis may well indicate that many of us for the past few hundred years who consider ourselves 100% British might find traces back to Africa or India. My ancestry on my mothers side apparently can be traced back to the first Duke of Malborough and thence to around 900 AD. However what happened before that is anyones guess. My ultimate ancestors could have come from almost anywhere. Post Brexit UK needs to make judgements for UK residence on what would be immigrants can contribute, not on spurious ancestry.

  23. Andy
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    You needn’t worry about elderly British people retiring to Spain anymore.

    That is a wonderful right we used to have which the Brexiteers are removing from us all.

    Of course, the Brexit backing public schoolboy elite will still be able to go. They have cash.

    It is just everyone who is now denied the opportunity.

    I wanted to retire to Italy. Thanks to you Mr Redwood that will probably not be an option.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Well that isn’t correct.
      You could retire and live in Spain and other European countries before the EU came up with open borders.
      And I have not heard any Spanish government minister saying anything will change after we leave the EU
      Have you Andy?

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink


        Have you got the latest news on the reciprocal medical agreement we have with Spain? Will our government take up the EU guarantee of covering your health insurance/costs as it does now?

        And if it does not how can you insist that nothing has changed?

        Can you Edward?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Is this really relevant?
          We were talking about Andy’s misplaced fear that he won’t be able to live or work or retire in Europe.
          Now you come along with a post about healthcare.
          As far as I am aware the UK government wishes to carry on such arrangements.
          If you know different then please tell us Margaret.

        • APL
          Posted July 30, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          margaret howard: “And if it does not how can you insist that nothing has changed?”

          What’s wrong with medical insurance?

          Andy: “I wanted to retire to Italy.”

          You need to get a job before you retire, Andy.

      • Andy
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Of course it will change. Why would Spain, France, Italy, Greece etc let Britons in bureaucracy free and without restriction if their citizens don’t get the same treatment here?

        It is not rocket science which is just as well seeing that the new Home Secretary is not exactly the brightest star in the sky.

        Ms Patel wishes to give preference to certain types of people – which is absolutely her right. Please do not be surprised when our European friends reciprocate. Unless they are Brexiteer elite level wealthy – what use are most retired Britons to Spain? They’re not.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          It is not bureacracy free now Andy.
          Surely you know this being the EU wide travelling mega business man?

          The UK government has offered EU citizens reciprocal treatment but as yet the EU has refused to talk about it.

    • Dominic
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      So you’re not emigrating then? Gutted. You’ve just spoiled my entire weekend. Even the dog’s howling in despair at such disappointing news

    • Jagman84
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      I am sure that your disappointment will be shared on this blog……

      However, seeing as you boast of being a man of means, I expect the reality will be rather different to your angry rant and the Italian government will allow you to migrate to their fine country, even after we exit the EU. Try not to arrive on one of the NGO water taxis though!

    • jerry
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      @Andy; “You needn’t worry about elderly British people retiring to Spain anymore. That is a wonderful right we used to have which the Brexiteers are removing from us all.”

      But many a British pensioner, along with those of working age who wished to set up home and work, emigrated to Spain long before the EU gave them such a right, indeed long before the UK even joined the EEC, I knew of such expats back in the mid 1960s…

      Tell me @Andy, how many UK expats live and work or retire to, say, the USA? They have no automatic ‘right’ to live in the USA but many UK citizens are able to comply with the (rather strict) US immigration rules and do just that, without the UK having to become the 51st State of the Union (nor even a unincorporated US protectorate)! Same with Australia.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        So jerry, can you give us the figures for the number of our citizens being able to retire to the US or Australia compared to those in the EU member Spain or its many islands which are swarming with UK pensioners?

    • L Jones
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Perhaps, Andy, you just won’t be the sort of person they want.

      Do you really believe that you would be turned down as a prospective resident just because the UK is no longer a member of the EU? Perhaps you should do some research – see what Portugal is offering those who wish to settle there. Maybe Italy will offer the same benefit if it’s to their advantage, and of course it will be.

      By the way, though, haven’t you always bragged to us how much money you’ve got? I’m sure, then, it won’t be difficult to buy your way in – and it’d be only fair to invest some of that wealth of yours into your chosen country for the privilege of being allowed to live there. Why shouldn’t you expect to put your money into a place you want to call home?

    • James
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Why can’t you still retire to Italy?
      Lots of people did before the EU was formed.

      • Kajagoogoo
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Lots of rich people did. The EU opened up freedoms for ordinary people. No surprise that the Tories want to stop that. The party of the rich, governing only for the rich

    • James1
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Rather a shame if you are unable to retire to Italy Andy.

    • Simeon
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Your views are beneath contempt, but I have a perverse admiration for your persistence in expressing them. Of course, being beneath contempt, your views are therefore hilarious, though it is worth remembering that behind the red nose, baggy slacks and oversized shoes, you are a human being. I hope therefore that you can appreciate the amusement you provide myself and, I’m sure, many others. Humour can be our common bond.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Andy, there are plenty of Russians living in Spain

      • agricola
        Posted July 29, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Yes there are, but they are outwardly wealthy, usually seriosly wealthy.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Apply for Eire citizenship – I am sure they will be delighted.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      there is still time Andy, please hurry.

    • agricola
      Posted July 29, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Were you to arrive impoverished in most any part of the EU you would be in for a shock. They would not provide you with a home or pension. Why should they. Best you stay in dependency UK and live off the taxpayers. Spain is not an option for you, perhaps the Italians are more generous.

  24. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Deportation is also ignored.

  25. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    That’s what was promised 3 years ago. The question is-why has it taken so long to deliver?

  26. Fred H
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Some form of points system need to be implemented. It can be designed to ease immigration where we have a need, but must also trigger longer term inward recruitment and development. The NHS, for example relies on overseas qualified people joining, but informs us that we do not train nor encourage sufficient qualification from within. In agriculture we have for many years automated tasks, and promoted jobs that require technical education. Our own people no longer want to work on the land, yet in many other countries the work is normal and here our wages encourages immigration, thus also supporting families from other countries suffering hardship where they live. Perhaps working visas for periods or seasons can be introduced to clarify the terms on which workers come here for specific periods, perhaps extendable, and allowing full rights of citizenship eventually.

  27. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    On the subject of asylum seekers, we should have a system of sponsorship, so they don’t become a burden on over-stretched local councils.
    We seem to have an abundance of human rights lawyers with considerable capacity to champion asylum seekers’ needs. They could spend less time going to court and more time actually directly helping those in need. If they need housing, let the lawyers secure the housing and organise collections for them if they can’t do so from their own funds.
    People will be much more sympathetic if asked to lend voluntary aid, rather than having to contribute by way of tax. Taxing people to provide for asylum seekers run the risk of them becoming the subject of resentment.

  28. Shirley
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    We need control of immigration, but we also need to stop handing out UK citizenship like confetti. Once immigrants have citizenship they are very difficult to deport and many deserve deportation. The Swiss model of qualifying for citizenship is excellent and should be adopted here.

  29. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    On the broader issue Hammond is reported to be colluding with Kier as well as the usual EU huggers. In a real world it is inconceivable that anyone who even abstains to bring down Brexit/Government can remain in the CP. Just as it was blindingly obvious uncontrolled immigration has social consequences, the CP will fall under the sword of the Brexit Party unless it delivers the Referendum result.

    One of the few things Cameron rightly assessed was the threat of UKIP, a street wise PM would have promoted Leave after his demeaning by Merkel & Co. but his bit of paper showed his weakness.

  30. Iain Moore
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    England is a grossly over populated country , most of our resources are being stretch to the limit to cope with the numbers , as such we should not be contemplating limiting the numbers of people coming here, but call a halt to it. The British Government has been a poor custodian of England , to be honest I really don’t think they give a dammed about our country, at best they have been incompetent , but I feel it is more likely the policy of mass immigration was planed in order to shatter English identity. The old divide and rule strategy.

    The anti English policy that seems to underpin the British Governments immigration policy aside, I find it hard to understand how the Government can keep straight face when it seeks to sell us all the apocalyptic global warming climate change green stuff , where anybody other than the great and good, who will of course be exempt from any restrictions to their activities , will have to go around in sack cloth and horse and cart , but at the same time they ship in a city worth of immigrants every year. Please can someone square that with me because I sure as heck can’t. 45% of our carbon foot print comes from the built environment (Government figures) but while the Government is expanding it by a city every year they tell us to go zero carbon.

    I don’t believe the British Government has any interest at all to manage, let alone restrict, immigration. What we are treated to is a policy of managed incompetence. Can all these people from Oxford and Cambridge running the British establishment really be this incompetent? I don’t think so, so the mess we have is contrived . Just look at Windrush, they couldn’t be bothered to record the people coming into our country then, and even after all the recent embarrassment about that, guess what ? They are planning to do the same thing all over again with EU migrants, so we won’t have a clue as to people who have a right to come here.

    As you can gather I am pretty despondent about the issue, we will never get any reasonable immigration control while it is left in politicians or the British establishment’s hands, Boris the great hope for the Conservatives will probably give an amnesty to millions of illegal migrants. We need to take it out of politicians hands , establish an insurance bond for anybody wants to come here, if they don’t leave on time the bond gets cashed in and used to fund bounty hunters .

    PS The asylum system is another unworkable system, it is a blank cheque written by a past generation that we have no hope of honouring, let alone the massively expanded criteria the judiciary have written in to it. We should stop fooling our selves and call a halt to it.

  31. jerry
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    But Sir John, much of your second paragraph applies to both migrants and the Uk’s own indigenous population, the shortage in housing and services has not been caused by migrants, although I accept it has made things even worse. Back in the early 1970s the UK had to suddenly accommodate very large numbers (c. 27,000) of wholly blameless people forced out of Uganda, but that was in an age when the State was prepared to expiate the building of extra social housing, education and health infrastructure…

    The Govt. also needs to tackle the reasons why employers go looking for migrant workers rather than employ from the indigenous population. The govt. needs to 1/. tackle the skills gaps due to our own miss-managed (lower, further and higher) education systems, 2/. the minimum wage culture amongst some employers, 3/. the benefits culture that has flourished in the current politically correct age. On that last point, what ever happened to the idea, which flourished after WW2 for necessarily different reasons, where places of significant employment (such as offices and factories) had on site medical and child-care facilities in partnership with the State via the NHS etc.

  32. Barbara C
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Sir, I totally agree with your analysis, although I would also point out that these are young people who will at some point start a family, which will rapidly exaserpate an already dire situation.

    In truth, it was never going to be possible for any government to plan for the consequences of uncontrolled immigration, and if ever there was a misnomer, it’s “free” movement. The financial and societal cost has been incalcuable

  33. Christine
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Why did Mrs May have the authority to sign the UN Global Compact For Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration? The petition against signing reached 131,617, the opposing petition to sign reached 25. She had no mandate to sign our country up to this.

    Now we have Boris wanting to give illegal immigrants an amnesty. What message does this send out? Who benefits? The majority will be low income people who will be a drain on society and potential Labour voters. Once legally settled how many family members will arrive under their right to a family life?

    Governments for the last thirty years have made no effort to control immigration. Our concerns are ignored and election promises broken. The constant flow of cheap labour and raising GDP seem to take priory.

    I’m afraid Boris is a false prophet. He seems to want a tweak to the backstop and then put Theresa May’s withdrawal treaty back for a vote in parliament. ERG members are being silenced by accepting Government posts and signing up to collective responsibility. Only honourable MPs like Steve Baker are holding out. Yet again we are faced with BRINO.

  34. Willaim Long
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    The immigration targets of the two previous administrations always seemed spurious to me: put there to make it look as if the Government had thought about it and was doing something, with very little thought about the practicalities, or indeed desirability, of achieving them. However, one of the great benefits of leaving the EU is that we will be able to choose who comes here and on what terms. There are plenty of areas where we are short of skills, and many others where we already have plenty.
    Any target on overall numbers is invidious because in practice it is unenforceable, and we need the people that we need, but those seeking entry should not be allowed to come unless they can show that they have a job to come to, that cannot be filled by someone who is already here. They should also have to pass an exam in written and spoken English.
    It seems right that those already here legally should be confident that they can stay; it seems a major indictment of the EU that they are not prepared to give the same assurance in return in respect of UK nationals.

  35. backtothefuture
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    One of the main reasons the Europeans felt comfortable in coming here was that we were part of the EU and had all benefits etc which would transfer to their home countries when needed and when necessary. After 31st Oct that situation will have changed utterly so I predict an massive outflow of footloose people back to Europe and likewise an inflow of the old Brit retirees coming back to UK from Spain etc because the value of the Pound will have collapsed and they need NHS and other benefit top ups to live- however should be good bargains in the holiday property market on the Costa for those that can afford to live there- swings and roundabouts

    • Fred H
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      old Brits come back from Spain for many reasons – some because you get no attention from nursing staff and need a family member/friend to do the basics for you.

  36. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    In my view there is good immigration and bad immigration. Good immigration brings skills and energy and often a better outlook into a country (the U.S.A. and Israel are both very dynamic countries that were originally built on immigration). However bad immigration brings crime, poverty, social problems and people who want to impose their own intolerant or fanatical ways on everybody else.
    The skill should be to allow good immigration and thwart bad immigration. Unfortunately I have no confidence in politicians’ current ability or even willingness to do so and negative confidence in officials’, or even worse immigration tribunal judges’ willingness to be even sensible, let alone forceful in thwarting bad immigration. The whole system is now rotten and damaging to the country. Despite supposed attempts, not least by Mrs. May, to reform and improve it, things have only got worse.
    The clear inference is that nobody is going to, indeed nobody is capable of reforming the present system. The whole system, along with all the immigration tribunal judges should be scrapped. What we need to effectively do this is a complete five year moratorium on all immigration for whatever reason. We could then scrap all the immigration policies, tests and immigration tribunals because nobody who is not now a citizen would be able to become one, there would be no legal asylum seekers and nobody more (who wasn’t already here with leave to remain) would get leave to remain. Of course this transitional moratorium wouldn’t be ideal either for potential immigrants or their families or in some instances for Britain but it is the only thing that is likely to get immigration under any sort of control. During the moratorium we could work on devising a rational, useful and smallscale system of immigration, beneficial immigration to be implemented at the end of those five years (and not before then).

  37. Everhopeful
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Can’t change the laws of physics.
    Have even the great and good not noticed how very crowded everywhere is getting?
    What will they do when the roads finally surrender to gridlock? Helicopters? And then when the skies are too crowded?
    Funny how it was Kinnock who warned everyone not to get old or sick ( at a time when the present situation was unthinkable).
    Still as usual the powers tb will oversee chaos and misery with meaningless initiatives and promises.
    Rest assure …someone somewhere will be raking it in!

  38. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I have never been happy with the governments immigration strategy.

    I see on one hand politicians signalling how generous they are because they give away someone elses money.

    If we really wanted to help those countries then people would freely be giving their money and time to charities that support those causes.

    Personally I believe only two things should be considered (as long aqs France or Ireland do not collapse) should be whether the culture can live happily in the UK and if they possess useful skills. The first is hard to define, but I find it hard to believe I could live safely in Pakistan, so I would not want people who supported that regime living in this country.

    This policy would drive up wages for many professions such as carers, this does not seem a bad thing and will result in less useful professions earning less. The unfair idea of handing out free houses has to end, or else we may as well go full socialist and everyone gets a free house.

    Here Corbyn’s economics make more sense with our current arrangements then the supposed right wing, it just shows how socialist we have become.

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    If we are to solve the world’s environmental problems, it is essential to achieve world zero population growth. Below are existing birth rates per woman:

    World average 2.42
    By continent
    Africa 4.6
    Oceania 2.3
    Asia 2.1 (Central Asia 2.9, Western Asia 2.7)
    Americas 2.0
    Europe 1.6

    The population replacement rate (to achieve ZPG) is 2.1.

    These summary stats come from the CIA World Factbook, courtesy of Wikipedia. For those of you interested in the rates for individual countries, check Wikipedia.

    The problem continents/regions are Africa, Central Asia (roughly the Indian sub-continent) and Western Asia (roughly the Middle East). They must not be allowed to swamp other countries, particularly USA and Europe, by emigration. Rigid national control of immigration by nation states is the answer.

    Zero immigration to the UK will allow the UK birth rate to rise from 1.87 per woman to the population replacement rate.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Surely you need to factor in mortality rates in each region to get a better idea of actual population growth?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you do. But Africa’s population is currently growing at 2% a year and in addition they are exporting people. The average age of the Africa population is 15. The world has become better at feeding people in recent years, no doubt by having more land under cultivation and by using GM crops. I will investigate and report back.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted July 30, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        I suppose the most important statistic is the % of females who die before age 20 (roughly earliest common reproductive age, though it varies). In Niger it is 7% (one of the highest), in Kenya it is 4%, in UK it is negligible (Source: WHO).

        The rates used to be a lot higher. Usually it takes a generation before couples accept that there is no need to produce so many children because more survive. So Africa ought to have modified its behaviour by 2050!!!

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 29, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Central Asia is not the Indian subcontinent-it’s the “stans” broadly speaking.Here there is population growth – in stark contrast to central Europe.The historic migration route going back centuries (famously the likes of the Goths,Huns,Magyars and various Turkic peoples has been across the steppe and into central Europe.

  40. BR
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    We should also differentiate between right to work and right to remain, Workers should work, then leave – no matter how long they are here as workers.

    We also need to decide how we define “need”. Businesses don’t really need workers from abroad, they simply don’t want to pay the salaries of British based workers (especially when that has employers NI added to it, which makes the average Brit non-competitive with a foreign worker who is paid in his own country and sent to the UK on secondment.

    The minimum salary has been reduced (£21,000) is far too low for IT, for example, since no-one here earns that in IT so the floodgates are open to workers from India, Poland etc based on earnings.

    The problem with migrants is that they being with them extended families who are often a massive drain on services. Look at the figures for women in work – and numbers on benefits – across different ethnic, social and religious groupings and it tells its own story.

    • Mark
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      I agree that there’s a big difference between working as an expatriate and settling while adopting British ways of life. Living in foreign enclaves does nothing for societal cohesion.

  41. tim
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Yesterday I met a man from Africa (name of country withheld for privacy). He was picked up by the“charity boat” just off the coast of Libya, and was rescued to Italy (an 8 hour boat journey), (5 minutes back to Lybia). Italy does not cater for his needs, (no Dole, no free house, no child tax credits, no free school, no free university, no free health care, no free legal aide). Italy gave him the EU passport. He took a flight to UK, now he is in my Town. He has brought his wife and 5 Children from Africa and is demanding benefits, but his main priority is? He wants Citizenship of UK. He has only £300.
    This is the reason I want out of EU. There are lots on homeless people from the UK, but they get no help.
    I am a dual national, Australia and UK. To move to Australia We had to prove we had enougth money to last 2 years, and that our skills were needed. We had every test, criminal, health, work, including our children. This took almost a full year and cost an arm and a leg.
    Why does UK not adopt the Australian points based system?

    • Kajagoogoo
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Complete lie. Wife and children would have no right to enter the UK

      • steve
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:21 pm | Permalink


        But that doesn’t mean they didn’t enter the UK, so is probably not a lie.

  42. ADAMS
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Just stop asylum seekers getting in . We have had immigrants by the million already .
    The bloody UK bus is full to overflowing . Your Party is next to useless on immigration . Why are you still in the Tory Party John ?

  43. Cromwell
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    As an elderly bigot with an international outlook let me tell you about the Bradford weaving industry. Faced with overseas competition the industry imported cheap labour ……. ( it was much cheaper than investing in modern machinery). Soon after the weaving mills were forced to close, the imported labour did not return home instead, being low skilled and many of them illiterate they became a burden on the state.
    Controlling immigration by a point system is a smoke screen. We need a system where an employer must obtain an annual licence for each ( at the moment) non EU immigrant employed. The price should be set at a point that it becomes cheaper to automate or train indigenous people. This would give our short armed – deep pocketed employers industrialists pause for thought.

  44. BillM
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    A good and valid point SJ re the net migration figures do not actually satisfy the cost to the Nation.
    I doubt ONS figures are avail to show us exactly how much the increased immigration has actually cost the country.
    However, I do recall a figure given by Brussels some time ago which stated we had 600,000 unemployed EU migrants living here drawing benefits. Back then the cost to Tax payers would be around £3 Billions per year.
    Yet another hidden cost of EU membership! Once out we’ll be quids in!

  45. Jiminyjim
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Immigration is not a problem. The RATE of population increase is, as is the fact that successive governments have wished to benefit from the increase in GNP that high immigration brings, but have refused to invest in the infrastructure that is necessary to support the higher level of population.
    And for those of you who have ever wondered why queues form at Calais including, astonishingly, those from regions where french is the first language, then forget all about welfare payments attracting people. The real reason, which you’ll know if you speak to other europeans, is that they are monstrously intolerant of immigrants, whereas UK is overwhelmingly tolerant and accepting. In short, we either need to control the overall growth in our population, or we need to invest at a massively higher level. Either way, it is essential that we rid ourselves of a system that gives priority to those from other EU countries. We need to hold Boris’s feet to the fire on this one.

  46. Sea Warrior
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    My local supermarket has one of those hand car-wash operations. It didn’t have one five years ago. There are about ten staff, all of whom appear to be East Europeans. They don’t speak English. I guess that they will all be on the minimum wage, so won’t be paying much in either income tax or NI. They’ll all need somewhere to live, however. And if their families are over here, then their children will, almost certainly, be of school age, costing us £5K a head, and the mothers will be drawing child benefit. Each time I leave the car-park, I pass the super-market’s …………….. under-utilised £1 million automatic car-wash.
    Amazingly, I heard some business leaders on the radio within the past week arguing that we should reduce the salary requirement for those seeking to work here down to £20000. The Conservatives need to face-up to an uncomfortable truth: they are complicit, with Labour, in trashing the country by allowing high levels of Immigration.

  47. Mark
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    There are two other major routes for immigration. By far the largest source of net migration in recent years has been the student route, sometimes openly abused. We need to have a serious debate about this, not a simple assumption that students are always beneficial. Those who do go back home after their studies may become our competitors having picked up intellectual property while here. The benefit of returnees is perhaps greater if we have taught them how to run a government without corruption, but I fear our universities tend to teach Marxism instead.

    We also need to root out abuse of the student route. We should welcome genuinely able students who stay on to share the benefit of their education with us to the extent that they make sense as needed for the workforce. Those who do not fit that profile should be discouraged.

    The other important route is the family route. I would welcome a return to the rules that used to apply 25 years ago, when sham marriage was effectively suppressed.

    • hefner
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Baker, A., 2017: “97 per cent of international students leave UK after studies”, 24/08/2017
      One might also want to consider the money and indirect recognition/prestige these students bring the UK universities. The quality of UK university education is recognized worldwide, with a number of foreign PMs, heads of state, diplomats having had (part of) their education in this country. Is it not something to celebrate?

      • Mark
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Almost all the heads of state educated in the UK were here in the days of just 50,000 foreign students a year, and perhaps when university education was less left wing. It was an achievement through selection, and mostly worked well. My objection is to indiscriminate student immigration with the award of cardboard degrees. You will note I approve of students repaying their education by staying to give us the benefit of their skills where there is otherwise a shortage.

        97% is a number that rings a bell whenever claims that are in fact dubious are being made. So it proves in this case when you dig down to discover what it excludes, and that the study is experimental. Whilst there may be some improvement over the extremely lax standards of border control a few years ago there is still a huge gap in the official statistics between incoming and returning students.

  48. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Managing your borders in a way which may prevent a “no-deal” would be revisiting your red lines, especially the one about N. Ireland. A few checks in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and the nation of N. Ireland is all it would take, and it only would have to be until you have found the technology to have a hard but invisible border between N.Ireland and the Irish Republic.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      What not a few checks between Ireland and France then? We have our single market too and you should respect that.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        No, our single market is not inviolable and indivisible like theirs. And we’re completely unreasonable if we say it is

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap: A bit nonsensical as you imply also checks between Ireland and all other EU countries. Ireland is not leaving the EU (even though early on in the brexit campaign some ardent brexiteers assumed that the Irish Republic would just follow the UK). The UK makes the divorce, the UK has to provide the solutions for the problems it causes.

    • Simeon
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Makes perfect sense until you consider the nature of Northern Irish politics and history, and the value placed on the Union by many in that land, at which point it is unworkable. Back to the drawing board…

  49. outsider
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, Free movement of individuals is the ideal; trend migration of groups is the reality.
    Governments claim to control these trends but do nothing because the National Health Service, the UK’s biggest employer, depends on a steady supply of workers from abroad, from cleaners to consultants.
    Why is that? Without answering that question and dealing with it, there is no prospect of meaningful change, however it is framed.
    Is it, as Mark B suggests, because we do not use robots and automated systems to raise NHS productivity?
    Is it because we do not pay people enough?
    Is it because we do not train enough people because that saves money?
    Is it because we require too much academic qualification for nurses?
    Or is it because the NHS has become an unpleasantly hierarchical and bureaucratic place to work and many of those with a calling become disillusioned ?
    Just as it makes no sense to discuss housing issues without discussing immigration, it makes no sense to discuss immigration without investigating exactly why the NHS cannot survive on our own labour resources.

  50. David Maples
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Your political judgment(s) are always A1. What I want to know therefore is why you are not appointed to the government at a senior level? More particularly, why you are not ‘opening the batting’ for the leavers in their ‘do or die’ match against the scratch team of remainers and their ‘Brusselite’ overseas players? Did the selectors in the Long Room in Downing St carelessly overlook your considerable batting average? More fool them if they did!

    Reply I was not asked to join the government

    • Fred H
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      —could it be that you apply sound reasoning skills, write and debate to find conclusions. Then expect others to make similar effort and display honesty, integrity and responsibility? I think I understand why you were not invited to join the government. Its all rather sad.

  51. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Come on, let’s be honest – for a change. The reason why governments allow – encourage, even – high levels of immigration is to increase GDP. If the population goes up but they keep public spending under control – abracadabra – borrowing comes down a bit.

    It is because of government’s inability to manage OUR money that they have to endlessly permit the population to grow. We all know how they waste our money. All day, every day. The MPs’ ludicrously expensive pension scheme, paying people £350 just for turning up at the House of Lords for 10 minutes, the long holidays they award senior people in the public sector, the early retirement, the computer systems that don’t work ….

    120 billion down the drain every year

    Yet governments DO NOTHING about this – so they allow the population to grow by a million people every 3 years – to increase GDP!

    Of course, they’ll say it is to make sure we have the ‘right skills’ (because they have failed in their education policies!) and they’ll say we have an ageing population. Well, why don’t we increase productivity by getting more of our young people to work in the care sector so that those who work in the ‘productive’ sectors of the economy can work more efficiently and get productivity up.

    Why don’t we move to a 4 day week and get productivity up – and release more people to work in social care?

  52. Kathleen P
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I am all in favour of a points based system but it will need to be closely policed because there are no limits as to numbers in such a system and unscrupulous employers will always be able to make a case out for whomever they wish to take. I am very much in favour of work permits for ‘visiting workers’ which enable the much needed worker to stay for the duration of their contract of employment and then to go home, much like happens in the Gulf States. Their family members must be covered by health insurance and private education and they must not become a burden on public finances. There is still a cost to the country’s housing stock and that, perhaps, is something that their employer could be responsible for providing for their foreign workers, again, much like the Gulf States.

    • steve
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink


      “I am all in favour of a points based system”

      I’m all in favour of just stopping immigration. As luck would have it we already have the best from the former Warsaw Pact countries. If we need more we can open up for migrants of those countries when necessary.

      I’m lucky to work in a manufacturing environment where the vast majority are Polish, Czechs etc, and I can tell you these people are good workers, they’re smart, dedicated, none of them wants to go back, and all of them want to settle here and blend in with us.

      I believe that what we don’t need is immigration from non EU countries where the vast majority have no skills whatsoever, and truth be known try to get here for the freebies but usually end up exploited.

  53. Paul
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I personally think there should be a temporary freeze on immigration for permanent settlement except for people with exceptional skills/talent. Our politicians don’t seem to understand that this small country is not going to get bigger. I live in London and I can tell you right now we are full!

  54. steve
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink


    “…….except for people with exceptional skills/talent”

    We don’t need immigration for that, we already have exceptional skills and talent, it’s just that business prefers to employ people who will work for a pittance and have no sense of their rights as workers.

    Why else does business want to sell the country down the river by keeping us in the EU?….It’s because they’re miffed at the prospect of losing access to cheap labour and having to pay the going rate. It has little to do with tariffs and JIT supply chains.

  55. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    It is idle and a waste of intellectual effort discussing any details and senarios of immigration control. This government and previous governments and the ministers and bureaucrats in it have no intention of controlling it. It is being encouraged.

    We continue to be deceived

  56. Original Richard
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    One of the many reasons we need to leave the EU is Mrs. Merkel’s immigration policy as outlined at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin 21/11/2018 where she said :

    “Sovereign nation states must not listen to the will of their citizens when it comes to questions of immigration, borders, or even sovereignty.”

  57. Iain Gill
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    We need an answer to the reality of open doors immigration via the Irish border. People we do not allow visas who can fly into Dublin will do just that, cross the land border, and then ferry to mainland (no passport required), and hence South East England will still suffer large amounts of illegal immigration via this route.
    We also need an answer to the way intra company transfer visas are handed out in large volumes to the nationals of some nations to just come in an undercut the local workforce. The tax perks given to work visa holders, 1st year free of national insurance etc, allowing them to undercut locals.
    We need answers to why large numbers of workers (and their families) are still gaining indefinite leave to remain, and British passports, simply for working here a number of years. When I work abroad I don’t expect to pick up local citizenship. We need answers to why its easier for nationals of some countries to get work visas here, than it is for a Brit to get a work visa in their home country.
    We need answers to the pressure on schools and healthcare from people entering from countries where Brits would not get reciprocal services free when in their countries.

  58. StephenO
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    The problem with government policy on immigration is the excess of muddled thinking, with many erroneous beliefs guiding decisions. Too many in government base their approach on their emotions, believing that there is only a problem due to xenophobia among the general population, despite surveys that indicate the UK is one of the worlds most tolerant societies and that would be immigrants themselves cross Europe voting with their feet for the UK as the friendliest destination.

    The governments approach has not adjusted to dealing with mass migration it has only scaled up how it deal with low level migration previously. However there is a different of kind as well as quantity of the impact of immigration when on such a large scale.

    When considering an individual migrant case the immigration department will consider the facts they know about an individual applicant, but they only will know a limited amount and the individuals characteristics, are hard to predict as people vary as individuals considerably. However if we consider 100,000 immigrants coming from another country this is different. These 100,000 people are going to closely resemble the population of their country of origin and they will only change to a limited extent by setting foot on UK soil. With low levels of migration immigrants would mostly living alongside British people and likely adopt British ways to a greater extent than with when living mostly with other new arrivals which mass immigration makes a far more likely scenario.

    For countries of origin we know a great deal about their populations. Levels of crime and corruption, social attitudes, levels of educational attainment, numbers of patents filed etc. The Foreign Office provides advice on how safe it is to travel to each country overseas. When people find their local area has more and more people from countries they would never consider safe to visit (a belief the Foreign Office website may confirm), they are not likely to feel safe in their own area and are being no more xenophobic than the Foreign Office itself.

    The Government should ensure its own statistically and scientifically based appraisal of the source population a prospective immigrant is drawn from is factored into the immigration process.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page