Government admits defeat on immigration target
This week’s news that the Prime Minister has downgraded the policy of reducing net immigration to under 100,000 a year from a target to an ambition is a significant defeat for the populist wing of the Conservative Party, although the Prime Minister attempted to balance that with a ‘dog whistle’ attack approach to integration. It may also require a new category for “the TUC told you so” blogs. As I argued here as recently as February, the problem with the proposed cap on immigration is not only that it is flawed in principle and misses the point, but that it isn’t achievable (or rather, that it can’t be delivered directly by public policy: as I also pointed out, a nose-diving economy could certainly deliver the higher emigration and lower immigration required, as an unintended consequence). However, there’s still a long way to go before the Government achieves a migration policy that is actually good for Great Britain. That would require recognising that migration is not, in itself, the problem: the issue is how we manage its consequences.