This statement from Priti Patel back when she began her role as Home Secretary was followed more recently by a similar aspect for the General Election manifesto pledge which in some senses is simply a follow up to the promises made in 2010, 2015 and 2017. However as this Sky News piece made clear yesterday, based on a poll conducted by YouGov, most people in the UK, even those who vote Tory and support Brexit actually want the freedom to travel about after the election and after the Brexit resolution. The largest number of people (80%) who would oppose Patel’s statement and what she claims to be Johnsons view would be people who want us to remain in the EU but even a third of people who want us to leave the EU want us to retain the open border so that raises all sorts of questions about why this nonsense needs to be scrapped or as I have argued on numerous occasions, we need a new referendum to unpick the detailed issues that people want to see happen in the future.
Another perspective comes from the recent piece in the Financial Times on the 9th November written by Margot James, one of the MPs who is standing down at this election. She wrote the following “Although I have had my differences with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, I do have grounds for hope, based on his record as mayor of London, and his more recent policy announcements. I know the prime minister to be in favour of a liberal immigration policy. For both the main sectors I represented in government, digital and the creative industries, ready access to global talent is an absolute prerequisite of continued growth. Yesterday, saw the announcement of a new NHS visa, to expedite the flow of doctors and nurses into the country. We absolutely need a digital and creative visa to plug skills gaps in these two vital industries. And I’m afraid we are going to need a construction visa as well, to enable the supply of the skilled workforce needed to roll out superfast fibre and all the other infrastructure projects for which the chancellor has announced new public expenditure.”
It would seem as though this article from James is driving several very big holes in the proposed immigration manifesto policy from Priti Patel whose existence in our nation is as a consequence of our open border approach in the past. In addition the reference to the superfast fibre and the funds for this to be provided by the Tories seems to resonate with the idea of a broadband offer from the Labour Party, but perhaps that is my ignorance?