Response to Government Immigration Plan – April 2021
This plan only addresses a small part of the Immigration Problem, namely illegal immigration and asylum. It brushes aside the far greater problem of absolute immigration and the fact that this country is now the most densely populated in Europe. Our country is NOT enriched by legal immigration and we are NOT a better country for it. Your assertions on this point are purely subjective and political, whereas in practice all immigration contributes to the following measurable and severe problems:
- Wage compression, together with widening income and regional gaps
- Structural unemployment (it is cheaper for employers to recruit established skills from abroad than train up native workers)
- The housing crisis
- The housing crisis (worth mentioning twice for emphasis)
- Degradation of our environment (and not just the destruction of pretty green spaces – scrub land also supports important ecosystems as well as reducing population density to improve air quality and enable rain water to drain through to the water table – just to mention a couple of points in passing)
- Increased pressures on public services leading to higher taxation and lower growth,
- Economic mismanagement of demand,
- Cultural displacement leading to social unrest and tensions including racism.
- Less space to live, work and play in undermining our quality of life.
NO IMMIGRATION IS GOOD FOR THIS COUNTRY
It is often lazily suggested that educated, self-sufficient immigrants in employment are net contributors to our economy, but a moment’s thought, plus a reference to the GDP per capita growth rates, reveals that is not true. Even a highly trained, professional worker will be taking out as much as they are contributing, for the simple reason they are paid for their work. They are consumers as well as workers. Even if they are not claiming benefits they are still benefiting from the NHS, schools, law and order, infrastructure provision as so on. Only if they are higher-rate taxpayers might they just about break even.
The GDP per capita growth rate has declined steadily (ignoring the banking crisis) over the past twenty years. In 1999 it was 2.8%; in 2019 0.8%. Most of this of course is a result of the high and increasing trade deficit we have with the EU, but even so you would have thought the onset of mass immigration should have provided some sort of uptick? It doesn’t. There is not a single sign of it anywhere in the numbers. The idea that immigration is an economic benefit to this country is PURE MYTH. The only immigrants who could be described as a benefit to this country are those who have skills we cannot produce here. Academic research teams and lawyers from foreign jurisdictions would be an example, but their numbers are tiny.
Your points-based system for legal immigration.
I have to laugh whenever this is rehashed as an innovation, because my understanding is that we have had a points-based system ever since Tony Blair introduced one in 2005. It has NEVER worked and it is not going to start working now. It is not even designed to limit immigration; only to limit the numbers claiming benefits. That is all very well for vast sparsely-populated continents like Australia and Canada, but it is TOTALLY UNSUITED to a seething shoal of sardines on a tiny island like the UK. Experience over the past fifteen years shows it is also highly susceptible to corrupting political influences, with the limits being lifted whenever big business shouts.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that open borders undermine the management of our economy. Wage compression prevents inflation from taking off, which prevents the Bank of England from increasing interest rates, which allows the economy to overheat to the point where job vacancies exceed non-structural unemployment. And a Government desperate to boast about how many jobs it has created just adds to the mess. If the Bank were to be given a target to keep job vacancies in line with non-structural unemployment then control over excessive demand could be reinstated and excessive job vacancies with screams from big business for more immigration would not arise, though the brakes would be refitted to the train once our borders are under control again.
Big business will not train up native residents in favour of skilled immigrants unless it is FORCED to do so. The interests of big business and that of the nation do not automatically coincide. Furthermore it is theft of the highest order to attract here expensively trained immigrants from their home countries who need them far more than we do. In fact it is IMMORAL.
I therefore STRONGLY RECOMMEND you switch to a quota and auction system. Every applicant for a work and residence visa would require a British sponsor to pay for the quota tariff as well as for health, benefits and debt insurance. This would create an open competitive market for the skills we need. The tariff would be quoted for each future month perhaps up to six months ahead and vary day by day according to the balance of supply and demand within that month. I suggest that the monthly quota be set at no more than 20,000, resulting in NET VOLUNTARY EMIGRATION of around 50,000 a year, thereby reducing population density and increasing quality of life in this country by providing more space for all.
The quota system will also be necessary to mop up any over-flows from your illegal immigration systems, which I suspect will remain a flood. However big business will not be amused if they are thereby left with even fewer places. An alternative way of dealing with refugees is needed.
Right to Citizenship and Nationality Law
You make no mention of how long an immigrant would have to work successfully here before they have a right to citizenship, and this together with past incompetence makes for legacy cases such as with the Windrush generation. It is inhuman to disrupt lives and families who are already well established here. It is therefore important that everyone knows exactly where they stand right from the start, and your sections on this subject HORRIFY me with the amount of arbitrary discretion you are building in. That will simply result in confusion and chaos.
May I therefore suggest a few simple and binding rules that everyone can understand right from the start:
- Work and Residency visas should be valid for up to four years. After that if they still have a sponsor (not necessarily the same one), have been self-sufficient and not picked up a criminal record, they can purchase a further four years at a 25% discount, 50% after eight years and 75% after twelve. If they can complete 16 years in good order they will be entitled to citizenship. This will also mop up many legacy cases.
- Those who can show British ancestry should be entitled to a proportionate reduction in sixteenths in both cost and duration.
- Entitlement at birth should be determined by having at least two out of the following three characteristics:
- – birth in this country
- – a British biological or adoptive mother
- – a British biological or adoptive father.
Return of Illegals and Asylum seekers.
You are living in cloud-cuckoo land if you think the French and other continental countries are going willingly to accept back refugees just because we happen geographically to be further away from the sources of instability. Not unreasonably they want an equal acceptance of refugees across Europe. Even now they are refusing to cooperate with us on this. They are certainly not going to start doing so any time soon.
You make a brief mention of off-shoring without putting forward any concrete proposals. This of course is the only practical option remaining if we can purchase a large tract of land somewhere outside Europe as British Sovereign territory where we can set up a civilised open permanent colony for refugees and illegals. In fact they are likely to self-segregate there with the genuine refugees remaining and the economic migrants moving on voluntarily. This will not be cheap if it is both to be attractive to the host country and provide a normal way of life with jobs, security and public services for the residents. However we currently have a massive overseas aid budget doing nothing particularly useful other than assuage some peoples’ guilt complexes which can be used to set it up, and in the longer term the colony should become self-sufficient with its own successful economy using the host country’s currency to facilitate trade with it.
With a large enough tract of land, or indeed several, we could then offer refugee services to other European countries for an appropriate fee thereby spreading the cost.
Visitors, Students and Seasonal workers.
You do not address this issue at all. I don’t have a problem with any number of students and school pupils coming to this country provided they leave at the end of their courses, as well as business people and others travelling frequently. However there appears to be a huge but unquantified problem with overstayers which must be addressed.
Frequent visitors and students could be issued with smart card visas, rather like Oyster cards, to facilitate their movements across our borders. Three months per annum or the duration of their courses would be uploaded free of charge, and then additional days up to nine months in each year could be purchased online at the current monthly quota rate. You appear to have removed the requirement to leave at the end of their courses and are now giving all students a right to remain for two years after graduating. This must be rescinded both as they are needed back in their home countries and because business must be forced to train up native workers. However a compromise is provided if some extra time can be purchased on the card at the current quota rate where employers are not immediately offering to sponsor and purchase a full resident and work visa within the quota.
Either way it is important that we have full bio-details of everyone who comes here. It is then a simple matter of placing names and photos of overstayers on a website if they fail to check out in time and offering say a £100 reward for information leading to their arrest.
Border police should come under general national police management, albeit as a separate force, so that all police across the country have a responsibility to cooperate with each other over the policing of our borders.
Your plan only scratches the surface of the immigration catastrophe we are now reeling under in this country and therefore I do urge you to consider seriously the possible solutions I have outlined above. Patel is fiddling while Rome burns.